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

May 2022 Newsletter

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

In this newsletter you will find news from, about, and of interest to GRASAC members and subscribers.

Stories in this issue:
  • “Great Lakes Diplomacy through Cultural Heritage” - Upcoming GRASAC Panel at the Cultures of Indigenous Diplomacy Conference
  • History of Indigenous Peoples Network Book Launch - Listening to the Fur Trade by Daniel Laxer
  • “Toronto Exhibition” Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork
  • Cinemobilia

 

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GRASAC Panel Presentation Promo

“Great Lakes Diplomacy through Cultural Heritage” - Upcoming GRASAC Panel at the Cultures of Indigenous Diplomacy Conference
from Treatied Spaces

All are welcome to this online conference and audience panel discussion organised to augment and expand the reach of the exhibition and residency of Anishinabekwe visual artist Dr Celeste Pedri-Spade at the American Museum and Gardens in Bath UK, March – July 2022.
 
Among many exciting presentations, the conference will feature a panel by GRASAC founding members Alan Ojiig Corbiere and Heidi Bohaker, and research assistants Autumn Epple and Bradley Clements.
 
Join us on Zoom on Thursday 19th May 2022 12:00 – 19:00 BST to watch a series of 20-minute presentations from scholars and practitioners before adding your voice to the discussion.
 

Learn More and Register Here
Photo of Daniel Laxer
Photo of Daniel Laxer
History of Indigenous Peoples Network Book Launch - Listening to the Fur Trade by Daniel Laxer
by Carolyn Podruchny

I am delighted to invite you to a virtual book launch for Daniel Laxer, Listening to the Fur Trade: Soundways and Music in the British North American Fur Trade, 1760-1840. The event will include Daniel introducing the book, doing a reading, taking questions, and playing some historic fiddle tunes on  Thursday, May 5 from 7 to 8pm, EST. 
 
The Zoom link will be: https://yorku.zoom.us/j/99736700753
Meeting ID: 997 3670 0753
 
Daniel Robert Laxer grew up in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta, attending York University for his M.A. and the University of Toronto for his Ph.D. in history. He works as a researcher in the Negotiations and Reconciliation Division of Ontario’s Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. 
 
Listening to the Fur Trade: Soundways and Music in the British North American Fur Trade, 1760-1840 focuses for the first time on how the fur trade sounded. Topics include firearms as sound-making devices, musical encounters, military instruments and “turned” drums, dances and diplomacy, soundways from Montreal to the Great Lakes, voyageur paddling songs, orchansons d’aviron, Indigenous hunting and healing songs as encountered by fur traders, and the development of instrumental dance music at the trading posts that centred around the fiddle. Listening to the Fur Trade traces the diverse soundways and musical exchanges that developed between English and French, master and servant, and Indigenous peoples and fur traders.
 

“Toronto Exhibition” Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork
by Heather George

Haudenosaunee raised beadwork on cushion with text "1926 Toronto Exhibition Fair".

Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork from the collection of the Seneca Iroquois National Museum at the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center. Photo — Heather George 

On October 3rd, 1898, 44 women from Kahnawake wrote to the US Congress reminding them of the right of Haudenosaunee people to cross the international border, which dissected their hunting grounds and homelands following the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

“To the members of Congress of the United States of America Greetings. We the women of the tribe of Iroquois of the village of Caughnawaga whose livelihood is the making of beadwork and Indian novelties Petition you the Honourable members of Congress … to use your influence in restoring the privileges that we hitherto enjoyed in passing and repassing the boundary line free of duty as we find it has placed us in poorer circumstances through the tariff placed on wares of our manufacture. We beg to remind sirs of the treaty made by our forefathers and your government worded in a sense as if there was no boundary for Indians.”

Haudenosaunee raised beadwork on cushion. Basket of corn in centre and text "Toronto Exhibition"  and flowers along the border.

Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork from the collection of the Seneca Iroquois National Museum at the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center. Photo — Heather George.

Described as items of “whimsy”; interpreted as mere items of fashion produced by Indigenous women for Settler women. As Dr. Jolene Rickard and Dr. Sherry Farelle-Racette remind us, there are much more meaningful ways to think about these pieces. The talented artists who created these pieces expressed cultural continuity, treaty rights and economic independence through their practice. Haudenosaunee bead workers established themselves in major tourist locations such as Niagara Falls, the New York State Fair and Toronto exhibition; crossing the imposed international boundary to sell their art.

I visited these pieces at the Onӧhsagwё:de Cultural Center in Seneca territory and selected them for inclusion in the CMA magazine as a small reminder of complexities created by imposed colonial systems and a beautiful example of one of the many ways Indigenous peoples continue to resist those systems.

Haudenosaunee raised beadwork with text "Toronto".

Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork from the collection of the Seneca Iroquois National Museum at the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center. Photo — Heather George.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Muse, the magazine of the Canadian Museums Association. Thank you to Muse and Heather George for giving permission to share the article here in the GRASAC Newsletter.
Archive/Counterarchive at Institute for Research in Learning Technologies, York University
Archive/Counterarchive at Institute for Research in Learning Technologies, York University
Cinemobilia
from Archive/Counterarchive

Taking its name from the multitude of historical media literacy projects that sought to bring film and media to underserved communities - “cines móviles” of Cuba, cinema trains in Russia, and “Cinema Mobile” projects by the Canadian Film Board, Cinemobilia is a mobile infrastructure lab tailored to the unique archival and presentation needs of marginalized communities in Canada. Our goal is to facilitate archiving of audio-visual media, documentation of intangible heritage, presentation of materials in community contexts, and preservation of content, in partnership with established archives and cultural institutions to create participatory forms of archiving, remediation, and presentation. We are currently working with Procurement Services at York University to acquire a range of equipment, including a film scanner and a variety of digital media decks which we are excited about! We’re also looking forward to working with the ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ+ archives, to provide infrastructure support for Noam Gonick’s NFB project “Parade,” a film based on unseen footage from the Arquives in a variety of formats including U-Matic, Betamax, Super8, 16mm film and more.

We'll have lots more news as we get up and running with our equipment, so stay tuned.
 

Cinemobilia Researchers:
Dr. Janine Marchessault (PI)
Dr. Patricio Dávila (collaborator)
Professor John Greyson (collaborator)
Jean-Pierre Marchant, Director of Operations

Partner organisations involved:
Agile Humanities Agency (AHA) https://agilehumanities.ca/
 

Cinemobilia machines.
Cinemobilia machines.
Miigwech, nia:wen, thank you, merci: we hope you have enjoyed these stories!
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