Topic: ARTS

Honouring our Grandmothers Healing Journey 2022

2022 has been an exceptional year of destructive wildfires in BC’s interior, of urban fires in Single Room Occupancy hotels (by accident and by arson) in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and intergenerational impacts of historical “mega-fires”: colonization, cultural genocide,  pandemics.   Our peoples are experiencing fires that burn too fiercely, too swiftly and too big, damaging individual homes, communities, landscapes, and habitats

It’s easy to light a match, let it burn and then present fire as negative. Yet let’s remember that fire has been used by Indigenous cultures for thousands of years in ceremony and land management. Culturally managed, low intensity land fires cleared away debris, restored habitat and vegetation and made for safer communities. Cultural burning practices have been passed down from generation to generation in a process guided by Elders and knowledge-keepers.

In this second year of Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey, partners are centering on keeping the fires burning: fires that burn in ourselves and in the hearts of our communities to inspire growth and renewal.

Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey originated from the Interior Salish Matriarchs and peoples of Nlaka’pamux and Secwépemc.  We’re people who’ve lived with fire since time immemorial with traditional firekeepers who maintained the lands with fire for protection, warmth, and health with the natural cycle of all things.  We were taught very young to respect fire through traditional teachings passed down from generations of Indigenous tribes, and Grandmothers whose spirits guide and protect us to this day.”

 —Nadine Spence

Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey is a multi-year (2021-2026), multi-community, multi-generational movement connecting communities of Interior Salish and Coast Salish peoples with neighbouring nations connected to the Fraser and Thompson rivers, mountains, and salmon.  Through arts and ceremony, Honouring Our Grandmothers brings together family and residents who work to restore relationships between generations and communities.  This fall’s journey is produced by Further We Rise Indigenous Arts Collective/Sacred Rock in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre/Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, along with Massy Arts Society, VALU CO-OP Community Projects and Love Intersections, and Carnegie Centre/Oppenheimer Park. 

“We’re acknowledging Grandmothers who traveled to the Downtown Eastside, Grandmas who’ve passed on and Grandmas who are with us now.  We’re honouring their lived experiences, stories and legacies left for us to discover and share.  Destroyed connections to grandmothers have torn apart families.  Many don’t know the stories of entire generations before.” – Nadine Spence

During the 19th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival (Oct. 26-Nov. 6, 2022), two weeks of art, ceremony, teachings, and storytelling will honour lived experiences and legacies of grandmothers past and present.

At the heart of the journey are histories told through visual art on travelling chests that visit different communities and collect messages.  Artwork on a community Elements message chest is created by artists of different nationalities with historical relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Nadine Spence’s painted cedar chest honours her Nlaka’pamux and Secwépemc grandmothers who lived and died in the Downtown Eastside. Nadine’s chest is the first of 13 bentwood cedar chests that will be adorned and presented over the multi-year healing journey. Ed Archie Noisecat and Mike Alexander are other contributing chest artists.

This year’s residency includes Inherent Responsibility, a cultural protocol talk with guests including David Ng and Jen Sungshine. An arriving ceremony for the community Elements chest takes place on the land in Oppenheimer Park.  All are invited to contribute messages for their Grandmothers, families, lands and waters:  to help celebrate, bring closure, and guide spirits home to lay to rest in ceremony at journey’s end.

A collaboratively designed window display, inspired by the community Elements message chest, will be installed in Chinatown, with artwork by visual artists Odera Igbokwe with Lydia Brown, and poetry by Stephen Lytton, Savannah Walling, and Rita Wong.

There are many generations of healing backward and forward for all who carry pain due to genocide, race, gender, and spiritualityWe all need fire, water, air, and earth to live; these common elements unite us always.” – Nadine Spence

Other Indigenous-centered events of renewal and growth at this year’s festival include:

  • A reading of Hung Up by emerging Cree playwright Tyson Night;
  • Hearts Beat 2022, exploring Irish and Indigenous traditions of drumming and song with lexwst’í:lem drum group;
  • Always in Our Hearts, a dance film choreographed by Indigenous dance artists Sophie Dow and Olivia C. Davies that honours women whose lives have been lost to violence (O.Dela Arts);
  • 8th Symposium of Reconciliation and Redress in the Arts: Stories Have Always Been Our Governance, a national dialogue co-produced with the National Urban Indigenous Coalition

Lori Malépart-Traversy’s Magical Caresses series available across Canada on as of October 17

October 17, 2022 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The Magical Caresses animated documentary series by Lori Malépart-Traversy, produced by the NFB, will be available free of charge across Canada on starting October 17. Consisting of five animated shorts that take a playful and uninhibited look at solo sexuality, the series has screened to acclaim on the national and international festival circuit.


“The topic of women and masturbation remains taboo in our society, so we’ve tried to demystify it in a way that’s healthy, uninhibited and funny. This series and Lori’s approach fully embody the values we seek at the French Program Animation Studio: namely, auteur films with a strong, personal visual look and a distinctive narrative style.” – Christine Noël, Executive Producer, NFB French Program Animation Studio

Awards and festival selections

  • Fonds Bell prize at the 2022 Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (FCIAT).
  • Award for Best Educational Film at the 2022 Sommets du cinéma d’animation in Montreal (Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo).
  • Selected to screen in competition at the 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival (Sweet Jesus).
  • Selected to screen in competition at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo).
  • Selected at the Animator International Animation Festival in Poznan, Poland (Turquoise Fish).

Quick Facts

Magical Caresses by Lori Malépart-Traversy (5 × 4 min)
Produced by Julie Roy and Christine Noël for the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio
Press kit:

A skillful blend of humour and confession, these five shorts provide a range of female perspectives to demystify masturbation. The films’ source material is adapted from intimate accounts published in the Caresses magiques book series written and edited by Sarah Gagnon-Piché and Sara Hébert.

The short films

  • Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo
    This animated short looks back at the surprising story of our relationship with masturbation—and its repression—from prehistory to today.
  • Turquoise Fish
    In this candid and introspective short film, a young woman recalls a kooky ritual involving masturbation that she’d invented as a child.
  • Big Bang
    This animated short film recounts a 23-year-old woman’s quest to achieve her first orgasm. Along the way, it takes a sensitive and humorous look at the little-known phenomenon of vaginismus.
  • Sweet Jesus
    What happens when masturbation has its “come to Jesus” moment? This animated short takes a light and humorous approach to examining religion’s moral taboos around the female body and desires.
  • Playhouse
    How does porn fuel sexual fantasies? This animated short with a magic touch relates one woman’s confessions about her favourite erotic scenarios.

About the filmmaker

Born in Montreal in 1991, animation filmmaker Lori Malépart-Traversy studied visual arts and animation at Concordia University. Her graduation film, Le clitoris, was an international hit both on the festival circuit and online. With Magical Caresses, she continues her exploration of the wide-ranging topic of female sexuality.

Indigenous Fashion Arts Announces Runway Lineup for Biennial IFA Festival

Third Edition returns June 9-12, 2022  with Runway Presentations from Indi City, Amy Malbeuf, Lesley Hampton, EMME Studio, D’arcy Moses, Maru Creations, Section 35, Arctic Luxe, Evan Ducharme

Indigenous Fashion Arts (formerly Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto) is pleased to announce this year’s runway programming under its new name, with its website launch today at The biennial Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival will take place June 9-12, 2022, at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

The Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival offers ticketed and free programming, including four theatrically-produced runway shows with 25 designers, a marketplace with over 60 exhibitors, plus academic-focused panels and hands-on workshops open to the public. The IFA Festival will also present free Digital & On-Demand content during the festival dates and throughout the year, including live-streamed runways and panels, available at

We are thrilled to be back in-person and welcoming audiences to the third biennial IFA Festival!” says Executive & Artistic Director Sage Paul. “Our curated programming represents diverse Indigenous expression in fashion from across Canada and internationally. This year’s theme, Walking With Light recognizes the relational undercurrents of the visionaries, stewards, knowledge keepers and connectors we value in our community. The theme materialized from the runway designers’ collections and artist statements and is further developed by storytelling of sky world with Grandmother Pauline & Luanna Shirt with their friend Joseph Sutherland and his mother, Mary Moose. We look truly forward to walking this fashion journey with you.

The Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival Runways will include four shows with 25 designers, curated by Wanda Nanibush (Anishinaabe and Indigenous Art Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario), Melanie Egan (Director, Craft & Design, Harbourfront Centre) and Sage Paul (Denesuline and Executive & Artistic Director, IFA).  

Opening the Festival is Eternal Imaginaries on June 9. The showbrings together a diverse group of artists and designers who assert visionary, queer Indigenous world views through fine craftsmanship, clever patternmaking and bold materials. Eternal Imaginaries features Amy MalbeufEvan Ducharme, Robyn McLeod, Michel Dumont, Indi City, and Curtis Oland

Sovereign Matriarchson June 10 features a multigenerational group of designers and celebrates the legacy and stewardship of our matriarchs’ labour and teachings through tradition, material and motif. Featuring qaulluq, Niio Perkins Designs, Swirling Wind Designs, Celeste Pedri-Spade, Lesley Hampton, and EMME Studio (USA).

Time Weavers on June 11 brings together an exquisitely skilled Canadian and international group of artists and designers who harness and sustain generations of knowledge. The practices in trapping and fur design, weaving and material culture methods in this show feature Janelle Wawia, Livia Manywounds, Maru Creations (New Zealand), MAWO (Argentina), Ix Balam, Kadusné (USA), and D’arcy Moses.

The closing night show, A Letter From Home on June 12, is an enveloping memory of “home.” This show celebrates family and place, featuring a broad group of designers who create ready-to-wear fashion and jewellery.  Their collections connect wearers to the land and their relatives through modern utilitarian Indigenous design, featuring Margaret Jacobs (USA), Anne Mulaire, BIBI CHEMNITZ (Greenland), M.O.B.I.L.I.Z.E, Arctic Luxe (USA), and Section 35.

In addition, an IFA Video Collection accompanies the runway shows. Exclusively online, this program features short videos shot and directed by each runway designer using the new Apple iPhone 13 Pro. IFA will broadcast each video online before each designer’s show, viewable through IFA social media and website. The videos are edited and produced by the IFA team, under the consultation of director Shane Belcourt (Métis), with a music score by composer and musician Cris Derksen (Cree).

Indigenous Fashion Arts sustains Indigenous practices in fashion, craft and textiles through designer-focused initiatives, public engagement and sector innovation. Their primary activity is the biennial Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival. IFA’s programming and initiatives illuminate and celebrate Indigenous people and cultures. 

With a commitment to Indigenous women, non-binary and trans people in leadership, IFA strives to nurture the deep connections between mainstream fashion, Indigenous art and traditional practice with amplified visibility.

Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival
June 9-12, 2022
Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay West in Toronto, Ontario

Tickets On Sale Now

Cliff Cardinal Brings his Dark Humour and Challenging Spirit to Shakespeare at the PuSh Festival in 2022

Much like Trickster, who inhabits the folklore of many indigenous cultures, Cliff Cardinal is a complex, many-faceted artist, who enjoys entertaining, enlightening, and mischief in equal measure. Since his first play, Stitch, debuted while he was still at the National Theatre School, he’s had a huge impact on the Canadian theatre scene; writing, acting and directing works that delve deep into the most desolating subjects, using dark humour and unflinching honesty.  The CBC’s review of his smash hit play, Huff, details, “Cliff Cardinal’s Huff touches on solvent abuse, sexual abuse, suicide and the bleak despair of being poor, isolated and feeling irrelevant. It’s not breezy theatre, but it is riveting.”

The struggle of poverty, addiction and abuse experienced by three brothers on a northern reserve could be a grim and harrowing ordeal, but throughout, Trickster, embodied in the character of Wind, brings an element of fantasy that elevates the story to a magical realm of myth and hope. Huff has won the Buddies in Bad Times’ Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation, two Dora Awards (Outstanding Performance and Outstanding New Play), RBC’s Emerging Playwright Award, The Lustrum Award (which recognizes the greatest moments at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and was shortlisted for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award. The Fringe Festival production garnered a five-star review in The Guardian Observer, calling it a “hard-hitting tour de force.” Huff has been published, translated into French, continues to tour, and has been released as a podcast by the CBC.
Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Cardinal is the son of iconic Canadian actress Tantoo Cardinal. When interviewed by the CBC about how he keeps audiences guessing, Cardinal explained, “So the craft is to figure out a way to keep the audience’s imaginations engaged. One of the ways that’s done is with comedy, if you open up to something, if you laugh you open up and if you open up then we have a chance of dragging you along into this world now”. 

Cardinal’s first multi-character play, Too Good to Be True, opened Video Cabaret’s 2019 season at The Busy St. Theatre in Toronto with Cardinal himself directing. NOW Magazine said, “This captivating tale of an off-grid mother and her desperate children solidifies Cardinal as one of the most talented and intriguing writers in the country.” On the music front, his band, Cliff Cardinal and the Skylarks’ are “hilarious and nefarious, Toronto-based, genre-flying, on beat and off-colour”. Their two albums: This Is Not A Mistake and Gonna Be Fine are available online. Cliff Cardinal’s CBC Special is not a CBC special, but an evening of words and music delivering original, dark and catchy folk songs; miraculous stories of familial resilience; legends of Turtle Island survival; and “new contributions to the ongoing mythology of the Canadian experience”.

Cardinal’s newest project is called William Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT; a radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal (produced by Crow’s Theatre), which is having its Western Canadian debut at the 2022 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in February. The title of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It holds a double meaning that teasingly suggests the play can please all tastes. But is that possible? With his subversive updating of the Bard’s classic, Cardinal seeks to find out. The show exults in bawdy humour, difficult subject matter, and raw emotion; Cardinal is not one to hold back when it comes to challenging delicate sensibilities. Is Trickster at work here? See for yourself when William Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT: a radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal plays February 4-6 at the York Theatre. For tickets, go to

UNDER THE NORTHERN SKY – Opening Up With Art And Music

by Xavier Kataquapit

    There is hope that life is getting back to normal and the pandemic is being managed to a great degree here in Canada. With this new normal, things are opening up. It has been a hard road for anyone involved in the creative arts and our artists, musicians, actors and dancers have all had to deal with little opportunity to entertain and stage their art. 

    Recently Adrian Sutherland, a childhood friend of mine from Attawapiskat released on September 17, a debut solo album titled ‘When The Magic Hits’. He has been hard at work in making and producing his music from his northern studio in Attawapiskat. In addition to his musical career, he is involved in many creative projects. You can view his latest music and creative projects at his website at  

    Wabimeguil, an indigenous artist from Northern Ontario continues, even during the pandemic, to produce her work and market it across the country. She is a great inspiration to many in the north as she continues the spirit of creativity handed down from her late father Lindy Louttit who is originally from Attawapiskat. Wabimeguil, which translates as ‘White Feather’ has been active as an artist for decades now and is well known for her traditional and cultural themes. You can view her work and more information about her at 

    A creative pair of non-Native friends of mine, Alana Pierini and her partner Lee Holmes have been involved in producing music and visual arts for decades here in northern Ontario and they have been featured in venues across the province and in Europe. 

    They have been working right through the challenges presented by the pandemic and over the past two years have had to cancel showings and performances as a result of Covid19 and the lockdowns we have experienced. The creative duo collaborate on visual arts and music. They have a rich and vibrant history as creative influencers. Lee has a long career that connects him to the music industry as a blues musician who has produced numerous albums and singles. Alana is a well known visual artist from Iroquois Falls who has inspired and taught many young people as a teacher and instructor and as an independent visual artist she has produced many works of art in various mediums over the years.  She also writes the lyrics for Lee’s music productions. In turn he contributes to the production of her art. 

    If you want to see some interesting art being featured right here in the north you can do so by attending the Pierini Art Crawl at the Temiskaming Art Gallery (TAG) in New Liskeard on November 6. The event will feature Alana’s art work and performances by Lee Holmes and the Beautitones. You can find out more information about this latest art exhibit from the Temiskaming Art Gallery Facebook page. In addition, Lee and the Beautitones are also performing at various venues in the north in the upcoming month. You can find out more information at his website at:

    Music and the arts are an important part of our lives and we have all looked to art, music and the movie world to help get us through this pandemic. Art in any form entertains us, makes us think, calms us and serves to mark special moments in time. 

    I was reminded of the power of art and music when a friend on my social media shared a memorable Youtube music video of John Rodrique performing ‘Pretty Girl’ at the Moosonee arena in 1991 during the Jammin’ On The Bay music event. At the time, this simple original pop song from that regional concert made us feel like we had our own star and our own music. John and his band were all from the James Bay coast and we were proud to call them our own. We bought the cassettes they produced and we played them over and over again until they wore out. Myself, my siblings and my teen friends at the time were experiencing those intense coming of age years and we were all on fire with our hopes and dreams. These many decades later I look back on that trail of early life and see so many gone now, moved on to other realities and some having become parents and grandparents. Still our own rock star John Rodrique, who passed at a young age, gave us a way to recall the joyful, energetic life so full of wonder back in 1991. 

    The power of art and music has always given us cause for reflection and hope. 

Community is at the heart of a new documentary series by Kevin Settee that explores Indigenous life and culture on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.


The Lake Winnipeg Project is a four-part National Film Board of Canada production that focuses on four different communities: Matheson Island, Poplar River, Camp Morningstar and Fisher River.

Each of these communities has a unique story to tell about the land, the water and how they are navigating the external forces impacting traditional ways of life.

Community has always been important to Settee (Anishinaabe/Cree), who both wrote and directed the series. A community facilitator with deep ties throughout the Lake Winnipeg area, he wanted to ensure that the stories of each community were not only told, but told in a way that was guided by the communities themselves. He selected the communities thoughtfully, with much consideration given to their level of comfort and interest.

“It’s a community-based filmmaking project,” he says. “The whole idea was to try a new approach that isn’t really done all the time when it comes to filmmaking. Normally, what happens is somebody will have an idea and they’ll take it somewhere.” Instead, Settee went to each community to discover what they wanted to share, and made sure to get their blessing before filming them.

In Matheson Island, the first film in the series, Settee documents the story of three brothers who’ve been fishermen for almost half a century. He looks at issues like the bond between family, the impact of commercial fishing, and health.

In Poplar River, the focus is on land, water, protection and stewardship.

“They have been protecting their land for decades and it shows,” Settee says. “If you ever get the chance to go there, it’s untouched. There are so many birds. All you hear is birds.”

The third film in the series, Camp Morningstar, raises awareness about the impact of resource extraction, process and protocol.The camp was initially created in opposition to a silica sand mine that was being developed without proper consultation.

In the final film, Fisher River, the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are explored, in areas such as employment, motherhood and education. Kailey Arthurson (Anishinaabe/Nehiyaw) is one of the subjects of this part of the project.

Arthurson had been following the development of The Lake Winnipeg Project through social media. She connected with Settee online when he reached out to learn more about what was going on in the community of Fisher River.

The 25-year-old mother earned her Bachelor of Arts degree last summer during the pandemic and is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Education program at University College of the North. The program is offered on-reserve and runs evenings and weekends, making it highly accessible for busy parents and people from remote communities. The film looks at the impact of the pandemic on the community, as well as Arthurson’s life as a student, educator and mother in the era of COVID.

“It felt really good to just be a part of the project and how it was put together,” she says about the documentary. “It really was beautiful. I hope that people will understand our connection to the land and the water, and how important it is for us.”

Ultimately, The Lake Winnipeg Project shows how all four communities are united in stewardship and land and water protection, and how important it is for these underrepresented voices to be heard and listened to.

The Lake Winnipeg Project is produced by Alicia Smith and executive produced by David Christensen at the NFB’s Northwest Studio in Winnipeg. The latest addition to the NFB’s Indigenous Cinema collection, the series can be streamed free on starting June 21 to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Frances Koncan (she/her) is a writer, theatre director, and failed musician of mixed Anishinaabe and Slovene descent. Originally from Couchiching First Nation, she is now based in Treaty 1 Territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

The federal government announced Monday that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their traditional names on passports and other government ID. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Long-awaited policy change follows Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation

When survivor Peter Nakogee first went to St. Anne’s Residential School in Fort Albany, Ont., he spoke no English and had a different name.

“I got the nun really mad that I was writing in Cree. And then I only knew my name was Ministik,” he told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2010.

“From the first time I heard my name, my name was Ministik. So I was whipped again because I didn’t know my name was Peter Nakogee.”

Decades after that trauma, the roadblocks preventing him from having his original name reflected in federal identification are at last being removed.

The federal government announced Monday that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their traditional names on passports and other government ID.

The move comes in response to a call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 that demanded governments allow survivors and their families to restore names changed by the residential school system.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said the announcement goes a step further, as it applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Metis background, potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of people who aim to reclaim their identity on official documents.

All fees will be waived for the name-changing process, which applies to passports, citizenship certificates and permanent resident cards, said Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino.

“The traditional names given to Indigenous children carry deep cultural meaning. Yet for many First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, colonialism has robbed them of these sacred names,” Mendicino said at a news conference Monday.

“At times, efforts to use traditional names have been met with everything from polite rejection to racism.”

The move to clear those barriers follows last month’s news that ground-penetrating radar detected what are believed to be the remains of 215 children at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

New policy effective immediately

The new policy, effective immediately, was one of multiple announcements that landed the same day that Ottawa heads back to the courtroom to fight a pair of rulings involving First Nations children.

In a judicial review being heard in Federal Court on Monday, the federal government is arguing against Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decisions regarding compensation for First Nations children in foster care and the expansion of Jordan’s Principle to children who live off reserves.

Miller said Monday the ruling ordering Ottawa to pay $40,000 each to some 50,000 First Nations children separated from their families by a chronically underfunded child-welfare regime, and to each of their parents or grandparents, “doesn’t respect basic principles of proportionality.”

Every First Nations child who has suffered discrimination “at the hands of a broken child-welfare system” will be “fairly, justly and equitably compensated,” he said.

Most of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action remain unfulfilled, though cabinet ministers pointed to a pair of bills that would incorporate Indigenous rights into the oath of citizenship and align Canada’s laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Bill C-8 on the citizenship oath has passed the Senate and awaits royal assent, while the UNDRIP provisions of C-15 continue to work their way through the upper chamber.

1st commissioner of Indigenous languages announced

Mendicino also said his department continues to work on updating Canada’s citizenship guide to emphasize “the role and stories of Indigenous peoples, including those parts that relate to residential schools.” The revised document will be released “very shortly,” he said.

He did not say whether Indigenous individuals would have to provide proof of Indigenous identity, but Miller said officials “want to cut out the red tape.”

In a further effort to demonstrate action, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault announced later on Monday the first commissioner of Indigenous languages, along with directors of the new office.

Chief Ronald E. Ignace of the Secwepemc Nation has been appointed to the lead role, with Robert Watt, Georgina Liberty and Joan Greyeyes named as directors.

Miller acknowledged that for some, the newly opened door to name-changing may not be sufficient.

“The approach to the Canadian passport with many communities is different. Some reject it, as they reject Canadian identity, so this doesn’t solve that issue,” he said.

“But what it does offer is people that choose the Canadian passport can now see their Indigenous name reflected in it, which is not only a symbolic issue but a matter of profound identity.”

Ojibway Artist Patrick Hunter Teams up with Canada Canoe Paddles for a One-of-a-Kind Art Series


June is Canada’s National Indigenous History Month and Ojibway artist Patrick Hunter is marking this year’s event with the launch of a first time ever collection of artisan canoe paddles.

Patrick Hunter is a two Spirit Ojibway artist best known for his paintings in the Woodland Art style who is also making a name for himself in the corporate world through collaborations with RBC and BMO Banks, Ernst & Young, West Elm, Staples, eBay, CTV and the Chicago Blackhawks to name a few.

“There’s an Indigenous story of people, culture and rich history that I’m trying to share with Canadians through my art” says Hunter as inspiration for his work.

Hunter was approached by Canada Canoe Paddles, a Toronto based company that partners with iconic Canadian brands like the CBC, The Tragically Hip and the Hudson’s Bay Company to create artisanal canoe paddles for display in cottages, cabins, homes and offices. “It is commonly acknowledged that Canadians are born with a paddle in their hands” remarks company founder Mario Zeskoski and even our late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau identified its special role when he noted “paddling a canoe is a source of enrichment and inner renewal.”

“Working with Patrick on an Indigenous paddle series seemed like the perfect way to showcase his work and provide Canadians with a unique artistic expression of the native lands we all call home” says Zeskoski. The canoe paddle became Hunter’s canvas upon which his art would would come to life.

The art collaboration will consist of four canoe paddle designs featuring Canadian themes done in Hunter’s Woodland Art style. “When I paint, I look into my subject matter to not only see its inner composition but also its spiritual side” says Hunter who was inspired by viewing original works of painter Norval Morrisseau in his hometown of Red Lake.

The paddles will be sold as a limited edition series individually numbered from 1 to 300. “Once they’re sold, they’re gone” says Zeskoski, “making them a special addition to anyone’s cottage or home whether you’re a paddler, outdoor enthusiast or someone who just appreciates the beauty of Canada’s wilderness as seen through a different lens”.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Hunter’s workshop initiative where he provides new generations the confidence they need to pick up a paintbrush. “Seeing how people react to what I create brings me the greatest joy and drives me to continue growing as an artist and a voice for Indigenous culture” says Hunter. “I look forward to making new acquaintances through my art as I continue on my creative journey”.

The Patrick Hunter Canoe Paddle collection is available now for pre-release sale at And Website:

CBC Podcast: Telling Our Twisted Histories

Host Kaniehti:io Horn


On May 31, 2021 CBC announced the launch of Telling Our Twisted Histories, an 11-episode podcast series that reclaims Indigenous history by exploring 11 words whose meanings have been twisted by centuries of colonization. 

Throughout these 11 episodes the host, Kaniehti:io Horn, will guide listeners through conversations with more than 70 people from 15 Indigenous communities whose lands now make up Quebec, New Brunswick and Labrador. Telling Our Twisted Histories is available now, wherever you listen to podcasts, with new weekly episodes until August 2.

“Savage. Reserve. Indian Time. Words connect us, but also have the power to wound, erase and replace us,” says Kaniehti:io Horn. “As Indigenous people, we are used to our stories getting a little twisted. This podcast is all about exploring some of these words, with humour and truth, so that we all better understand how they impact us to this day.” Kaniehti:io Horn is a Canadian actor from Kahnawake, the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) reserve outside of Montreal. Telling Our Twisted Histories was directed by award-winning journalist Ossie Michelin, an Inuk from North West River, Labrador. The podcast is a CBC co-production in association with Terre Innue, based on an original concept by Karine Lanoie-Brien and produced by Francine Allaire and Élodie Pollet. An award-winning French-version of this podcast, Laissez-nous raconter : L’histoire crochie, was released by Radio-Canada in June 2020.

About APTN Indigenous Day Live 2021

APTN Indigenous Day Live 2021 | APTN

In celebration of the 25th National Indigenous Peoples Day, APTN invites you to welcome the summer solstice with a unique adaption of APTN Indigenous Day Live (IDL). On June 20, APTN will broadcast the IDL festivities from coast-to-coast-to coast.

APTN Indigenous Day Live 2021 pairs Indigenous artists with Canadian music icons for a refreshing line-up of collaborations in English, French and Indigenous languages. The multi-platform broadcast takes audiences across the country to stages in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Dartmouth, N.S., to showcase and celebrate First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures and milestones.

Join hosts Earl Wood and Janelle Wookey for IDL 2021, featuring performances by Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Tom Wilson, iskwē, Neon Dreams, Julian Taylor, Charlotte Cardin and more!

Broadcast Details:

Sunday, June 20, 2021
8:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. ET
Monday, June 21, 2021 (encore)
aptn e/hd  2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET
aptn w  2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. MT
aptn n  2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT

IDL 2021 will be available for free on APTN lumi from June 20 at 8 p.m. ET until June 22 at 8 p.m. ET. The broadcast will then be available with an APTN lumi membership.