Indigenous Culture & Media Innovation and Knot Project Space are pleased to invite you to Anishnabe Azejicigan, a monthly gathering with Indigenous artists & thinkers. Conversations will focus on artist engagement with digital technologies in their work, online and through their social media presences. Zoom gatherings will be held at 7pm every third Tuesday of the month, starting October 20th.
Graphic designed by Tyler Compton
Join us on zoom November 17th at 7pm for a discussion surrounding the Cree typewriter/font with Professor Gloria Bell, Game Designer Meagan Byrne and Elder Greg Spence. The gathering will be moderated by Algonquin Knowledge Carrier Monique Manatch.
Gloria Bell is an art historian, creative writer, and photographer. Bell pursues relationships between visual culture, media, and family histories.
Bell’s research interests include historical and contemporary First Nations, Metis and Inuit arts, exhibition histories, sashes, bead work, global histories of body arts, and histories of photography. Bell is currently working on a big book filled with lots of neat pictures called Eternal Sovereigns: Indigenous Artists, Activists, and Travellers Reframing Rome (set to be published by the University of Washington Press).
Bell is involved in mediating archival images and imagining alternative histories. Their art criticism and essays are in publications including First American Art Magazine, Canadian Art, Wicazo Sa Review, Journal of Global Catholicism, and the Métis in Canada anthology. Bell is also the Terra Foundation Rome Prize Fellow and hopes to engage in questions surrounding the global reach of Indigenous media next time they are in Rome.
Meagan Byrne is an Âpihtawikosisân (or Métis of Ontario) digital media artist and game designer born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She has been creating digital interactive works since 2014 and her designs incorporate narrative, game mechanics, sound and traditional art and are deeply rooted in Indigenous Futurisms, language and Indigenous feminist theory. She sees her work as a constant struggle to navigate the complexities of Indigenous identity within a deeply colonized system. Meagan uses her games to explore questions of cultural belonging, the Indigenization of media and the future of Indigenous language and culture.
Greg Spence was the only child of eight siblings born in a hospital setting. Greg attributes his interest and curiosity of nature from his education from his mother, father and elders growing up in the wilderness for 10 months of the year till the age of six immersed in sights and sounds of nature.
Greg Spence assisted in the development of Cree Language Instruction for Laurentian University and taught the course for many years. While he was employed with Mushkegowuk Education in the nineties, he was responsible along with his colleagues in developing the Six Seasonal Curriculum model for the region. And establishing the annual Great Moon Gathering: an educational conference for teachers and professionals for the region of Hudson/James Bay.
For the last 17 years, Greg has been the regional coordinator of the CreeFest Festival, a summer cultural festival that celebrates the life of the Omushkego Cree. Greg has recently retired but continues as arts consultant for the James Bay and pursues his interest in language development and as a translator of documents, and educator of Omushkego culture.
The first discussion will be with artists from the Algonquin community: Elder & Artist Albert Dumont, Photographer Alice Beaudoin, Media Artist & Musician Dominic Lafontaine and Graphic Artist & Storyteller Jay Odjick. The gathering will be moderated by Algonquin Knowledge Carrier Monique Manatch.
Albert Dumont, “South Wind”, has dedicated his life to promoting Aboriginal spirituality and healing and to protecting the rights of Aboriginal peoples, particularly the young. He is the father of three daughters and grandfather of five grandchildren. Albert is a Poet, Storyteller, Speaker, and an Algonquin Traditional Teacher. He was born and raised in traditional Algonquin territory (Kitigan Zibi). He has been walking the “Red Road” since commencing his sobriety in 1988. He has published five books of poetry and short stories and one children’s book, written in three languages. Several organizations, both native and non-native, are currently featuring his poetry among them are the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Native Veterans Association.
Alice Beaudoin is a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and lives and works in Gatineau. Her passion is photographing the original people of Turtle Island. She is a freelance photographer who strives to capture Anishinabeg Nations from an Anishinabeg lens by capturing cultural pride, beauty and resiliency. Her photography consists of family portraits, head-shots, newborns, maternity, nature, weddings, conferences and events. Her aim in photographing Anishinabeg people is to capture a moment of being and the gentle forces that give rise to the richess and contentment of being. Spanning many years of photographic exploration her images reflect the essence of the intangible. Cultural pride, beliefs, traditional knowledge, and that calm demeanor are captured and brought to light.
Dominic Lafontaine is an Algonquin multimedia artist, poet and musician. His audacious, humourous and often absurd artworks explore the very notions of cultural identity, meaning and belonging. A graduate of Visual Arts at Ottawa University, he synthesizes his knowledge of traditional art forms with new media in order to redefine the visual language of contemporary native art. His motto: «Research, remix and repeat!»
Jay Odjick is a writer, artist and television producer from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Algonquin Nation in Quebec. After writing and drawing his creator owned graphic novel KAGAGI: The Raven, Jay co-founded a production company that produced a television series called Kagagi based on the graphic novel. Jay is an executive producer on the show and also serves as its character designer and lead writer. You can find Kagagi at aptn.ca/Kagagi. The show now airs internationally, in the US and Australia. Kagagi airs in three language versions, in English, Algonquin and a mixture of the two, with subtitles. Jay’s work has been featured at a range of events and locations from Canada’s National Library and Archives to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, at Canada’s Museum of History and he has travelled across Canada for speaking engagements. Jay has spoken before the House of Commons standing Committee on Health, and he has worked as a freelancer for the Ottawa Citizen and is a former teacher at the University of Ottawa.
Monique Manatch is a member of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake. Monique is a Knowledge Keeper working closely with Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont. Currently, Monique is a student at Carleton University taking a doctorate program in Anthropology focusing on the impact, use and creation of digital arts in the Indigenous community. Her Master’s Degree is in Indigenous and Canadian Studies with a specialty in Digital Humanities. Monique also holds a post-graduate diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration.
In 2004, Monique became founder and Executive Director of Indigenous Culture and Media Innovations (www.icmi.ca). ICMI is dedicated skills development of Indigenous women and youth through the production media and arts. Monique has facilitated Indigenous artists and community members throughout Ontario and Quebec.
Over the past 20 years Monique has produced several video documentaries about Indigenous issues. Monique also facilitated the production of videos and community radio programming with women and youth from Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg, Barriere Lake, Moose Factory and the Indigenous community in Ottawa.