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Great Lakes Research Alliance
for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures

July 2022 Newsletter

Aanii!  She:kon!  Yiheh!  Welcome!  Bienvenue!

Last month was National Indigenous History Month, full of great opportunities to celebrate Indigenous histories and cultures. Here at GRASAC, Indigenous histories and futurities are the focus all year around. Every month, this newsletter seeks to highlight the work, experiences, and voices of Indigenous peoples. We hope you'll add your ideas by sharing an entry!

Stories in this issue:
  • New GRASAC Member: Introducing Franchesca Hebert-Spence
  • Karl Hele receives Mount Allison’s 2022 Paul Paré Medal
  • View and Share Videos on the GRASAC YouTube Channel
  • Summer Podcast Listening
Events and Exhibitions:
  • Sense of Belonging, Woodland Cultural Centre
  • Radical Stitch, MacKenzie Art Gallery
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Franchesca Hebert-Spence (image from the Art Gallery of Alberta)
New GRASAC Member: Introducing Franchesca Hebert-Spence 
by Franchesca Hebert-Spence 

My name is Franchesca Hebert-Spence. I am Anishinaabe from Winnipeg and my grandmother Marion Ida Spence was from Sagkeeng, Manitoba. I am a cultural producer with a background in making, curating, research and administration. I had the fortune of beginning academia with professors such as Dr. Cathy Mattes, Colleen Cutschall, and Peter Morin. My undergrad was a formative time that built foundations as I navigated institutions as a culturally displaced Indigenous person. My BFA at IshKaabatens Waasa Gaa Inaabateg Department of Visual Art (previously Department of Visual and Aboriginal Art) played a pivotal role in my work around critiquing institutional spaces and histories. It provided a framework of what an Indigenous space, and potential dissidences within a larger institution, can be.

My curatorial praxis has been largely informed by my background as a maker, and this was encouraged during my time in the Manitoba Scholars group with Dr. Maureen Mathews. Coming from a craft background, it was a joy to meet weekly with other Indigenous students from various departments and institutions to visit, drink tea, and learn from the collection as well as one another. My academic journey has been populated with these similar spaces: the Beading Babes, Walking with Our Sisters, Indigenous-led conferences, karaoke nights, and so on. Similarly, my renewed arts practice is in turn enriched by the discussions happening curatorially and academically. My most recent work Speaking with the (al)Bees, an artwork made in conversation with a close friend and colleague Albyn Carias, aimed to articulate what intimate spaces beading tables can be, as well as sites of comfort, safety and insurgence. It’s my hope that engaging with the GRASAC database will open more opportunities for visiting; visiting beadwork that comes from my community, visiting elder works, and visiting folks who are also passionate about beadwork and community.
Dr. Karl Hele (image from Mount Allison University)
Karl Hele receives Mount Allison’s 2022 Paul Paré Medal
from Mount Allison University

Dr. Karl Hele, professor in Canadian and Indigenous Studies, is the 2022 recipient of the Paul Paré Medal at Mount Allison University. The Medal recognizes outstanding research and scholarship among faculty members.

Hele, a member of the Garden River First Nation of the Anishinaabeg in Ontario, joined Mount Allison in 2018. His research areas include Indigenous history, law, and politics. Since arriving at Mount Allison, he has played a leadership role in program development around the new Indigenous Studies minor and certificate options, introducing new courses on topics such as Indigenous history, cross border encounters, and the Indian Act.
Read More Here
"Sustaining a Research Alliance Across Generations," a presentation delivered by Cara Krmpotich and Heidi Bohaker at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute.

Share Your Videos on the GRASAC YouTube Channel

We have been slowly adding videos to GRASAC’s YouTube Channel over the past two years. It contains presentations and interviews with GRASAC members and research assistants, and with other arts and heritage workers and researchers. Many are reflections on GRASAC as an organization, but there are also videos about related organizations and research that GRASAC has supported. The latest upload is a presentation that co-directors Cara Krmpotich and Heidi Bohaker delivered at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute last month. You can find a full list of presentations and publications about GRASAC and research that it has supported online.
We hope you will “subscribe” to the Channel and share its videos with your networks! Also, if you have videos that you would like to feature on the GRASAC YouTube Channel, please be in touch. Like GRASAC’s other communications, this Channel is intended to promote information about Great Lakes Indigenous arts, cultures, and relations, and the activities of related people, communities, and organizations.

View the Channel Here
Summer Podcast Listening
by Bradley Clements

It's happened, I've become one of those podcast-nerds... And it is a great time to be one! There are so many great podcasts being made right now that the hardest part can be finding them. For this reason, I love it when people give me suggestions. I thought I would pay that favour forward by sharing what I have been listening to recently, and during Indigenous History Month in particular. The selections below are those which I imagine will be particularly interesting to GRASACers, being about Indigenous artists, heritage, and collections.

The Art of Sovereignty

In this new podcast from TVO, journalists Chris Beaver (Anishinaabe) and Shelby Lisk (Haudenosaunee) present the lives of eight influential Indigenous artists who led cultural revival movements in the later half of the 1900s.

Listen Here
Host Liz Barron (Image from Indigenous Protocols website)
Indigenous Protocols is a new online resource hub of “information about legal, ethical, and moral considerations for working with Indigenous Peoples and cultural materials,” “designed to help Indigenous artists protect their work, to educate non-Indigenous individuals and organizations about respectful engagement and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, and to provide tools that can be used to advocate for stronger legislative change.” Among the useful resources compiled here is a podcast of interviews with Indigenous knowledge keepers in art, curation, law, ethics, and intellectual property.
Listen Here

Exhibiting Kinship
Exhibiting Kinship is an independent “podcast dedicated to discussing Indigenous interventions in the museum world. The hosts, Felicia Garcia (Chumash) and Meranda Roberts (Northern Paiute) interview a range of Indigenous agents working to shift museum practices.

Listen Here
Unvarnished: Canadian Museums at a Turning Point is a recent podcast by the Canadian Museums Association, in which Heather George (Haudenosaunee), Lou-Ann Neel (Kwakwaka’wakw), and Massimo Bergamini discuss the imperative and challenge of anti-colonial work in Canadian museums.
Listen Here
Stuff the British Stole
Stuff the British Stole from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is a world tour of a range of cultural belongings, creatures, and people who were swept up by British colonialism. The podcast traces their often surprising and tragic global journeys into contested collections.
Listen Here
All My Relations Podcast
This podcast, hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Desi Small Rodriguez (Northern Cheyenne), “explore[s] our relationships to land, to our cultural relatives, and to one another.” In their recent episodes they have been focusing on Afro-Indigenous histories, futures, and kinships, through interviews with Tiya Miles, Amber Starks (Miscogee), and Nikkita Oliver.
Listen Here
Unreserved: National Indigenous Peoples’ Day
We recently marked National Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the Summer Solstice! To revisit the event, have a listen to this celebratory episode of the always-exciting Unreserved podcast and radio show, hosted by Rosanna Deerchild (Cree) on CBC.
Listen Here
The Secret Life of Canada: Crash Course on Kanata
In preparation for another kind of holiday - Canada Day - The Secret Life of Canada from the CBC provides some great perspectives on the country’s history that are often overlooked. In this episode, hosts Falen Johnson (Haudenosaunee) and Leah-Simone Bowen (Canadian Barbadian) recap the Indigenous history of how a settler colonial nation was given a Haudenosaunee name.
Listen Here

Nations by Artists: Borders

Speaking of Kanata, this episode of Nations by Artists reflects further on this name, the treaties that Canada and the USA have violated, the ways that borders violently form colonial nations, and the work that artists are doing to highlight and question these political formations. This podcast complements the recently-concluded exhibition of the same name at The Art Museum at the University of Toronto, and it is hosted by curators Sarah Robayo Sheridan and Mikinaak Migwans (Anishinaabe).

Listen Here
Media Indigena: The Restoule Treaty Case
Speaking of treaties, these recent episodes of Media Indigena outline the issues at stake in the still-unfolding Restoule case (in which GRASAC co-director Heidi Bohaker has served as an expert witness), regarding the Robinson Huron and Robinson Superior Treaties of 1850. Host Rick Harp (Cree) speaks with Christina Gray (Ts’msyen and Dene) and Hayden King (Anishinaabe) in a two-part conversation about the past and potential future of these court cases and treaties.
Listen to the 1st Episode Here
Listen to the 2nd Episode Here
And, because we all love Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), be certain to follow Falen Johnson’s (Haudenosaunee) CBC podcast on the life and influence of this always politically and artistically cutting-edge musical icon!
Listen Here

Sense of Belonging: A Place Called Home
from the Woodland Cultural Centre

The Woodland Cultural Centre (WCC) is pleased to announce a new exhibition, Sense of Belonging: A Place Called Home. The exhibition features three contemporary Indigenous lens-based women artists whose artistic practice weaves painting, beadwork, photography to connect the notions of identity, family, community and land. Personal experiences as a modern woman narrate individual journeys through visual storytelling celebrating language, culture and history. Curated by WCC Curator, Patricia Deadman, the interconnectedness and inter-generational artworks are both inspiring and beautiful. The exhibition opens June 4 continues to August 13, 2022.

Learn More Here

Radical Stitch
from the MacKenzie Art Gallery

Radical Stitch looks at the contemporary and transformative context of beading through the aesthetic innovations of artists and the tactile beauty of beads. Beading materials and techniques are rooted in both culturally informed traditions and cultural adaptation, and function as a place of encounter, knowledge transfer, and acts of resistance. Connecting to a tradition of making, exercised over thousands of years, this skill-based practice ties one artist to another, past to present and beyond. The exhibition includes a range of work from the customary to the contemporary, with a variety of approaches, concepts, and purposes. It is curated by Sherry Farrell Racette, Michelle Lavallee and and Cathy Mattes.

Learn More Here
Miigwech, nia:wen, thank you, merci: we hope you have enjoyed these stories!
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