Artists

Janet Antone’s Beadwork is dynamic and contemporary , beaded earrings and accessories handmade by Janet Antone, a proud member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, with amazing detail in a variety of colours and designs with pieces for both pierced and non pierced ears. She has started the Indigenous Pop Up shows that take place around London, ON and showcase a variety of Indigenous Handmade goods. She also provides “How to start” workshop series where she empowers other Indigenous entrepreneurs to get started in their business.

Cole Alvis (she/her) is a 2 Spirit Michif (Métis) artist based in Tkarón:to with Chippewa, Irish & English ancestors from Turtle Mountain. She is one of the leaders of lemonTree creations, manidoons collective, AdHoc Assembly and stewarded the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance from 2013 – 2017. Recently, Cole performed in Louis Riel (Canadian Opera Company & National Arts Centre) and directed the Dora-nominated bug by Yolanda Bonnell (manidoons collective & Luminato), Lilies by Michel Marc Bouchard (lemonTree creations, Why Not Theatre & Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) and, alongside fellow Dora-nominated Michael Greyeyes, co-directed an Indigenous opera double bill called Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit (Signal Theatre, National Sami Theatre Beaivváš & Soundstreams Canada). This winter, Cole is calling on the women in her matriarchal line to remember together their Michif ancestors. 

Reneltta Arluk is an Inuvialuit, Dene and Cree from the Northwest Territories. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and founder of Akpik Theatre, a professional Indigenous Theatre company in the NWT. Akpik Theatre focuses on establishing an authentic Northern Indigenous voice through theatre and storytelling. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, this nomadic environment gave Reneltta the skills to become the multi-disciplined artist she is now. Reneltta has taken part in or initiated the creation of Indigenous Theatre across Canada and overseas. Under Akpik Theatre, Reneltta has written, produced, and performed various works focusing on decolonization and using theatre as a tool for reconciliation. This includes Pawâkan Macbeth, a Plains Cree adaptation of Macbeth written by Arluk on Treaty 6 territory. Pawâkan Macbeth was inspired by working with youth and elders on the Frog Lake reserve. Reneltta is the first Inuk and first Indigenous woman to direct at The Stratford Festival. She was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie – Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director’s Award for her direction of the The Breathing Hole. Reneltta is Director of Indigenous Arts at BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity. Reneltta is Mom to her son, Carver.

Tara Beagan is Ntlaka’pamux and Irish “Canadian.” As a playwright, Tara has been in residence at Cahoots Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Berton House, and the National Arts Centre. Seven of her twenty-six plays are published, and two have received Dora Award nominations. Commissions have included Prairie Theatre Exchange, Theatrefront, KICK, mysterious entity, and Praxis. Tara served as AD of Native Earth Performing Arts for 3 years. Prior to this, she was an actor, director, dramaturg, Community Liaison, Playwright-in-Residence, and an Artistic Associate for NEPA. As an actor, Beagan has received Dora and Betty award nominations, and has appeared on CBC TV and radio, her favorite as “Portia” in Thomas King’s Dead Dog in the City. Beagan co-directs ARTICLE 11 with Andy Moro. A11 is an Indigenous activist arts creation & production company who have played Edinburgh, Toronto, Kitchener/Waterloo, Winnipeg, Regina, Vancouver, Wellington Aotearoa, Sydney & Melbourne.

Yolanda Bonnell (She/They) is a Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe & South Asian Dora nominated multidisciplinary performer, writer and facilitator. Originally from Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay, Ontario (Superior Robinson Treaty territory), her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. In 2016, Yolanda and Michif (Métis) artist Cole Alvis began manidoons collective and in February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille. Recently, she was also the Indigenous artist recipient of the Jayu Arts for Human Rights Award for her work. Yolanda proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors.

Photo of Samantha Brown

Samantha Brown is an Anishinaabe and European settler actor currently living in Tkaronto. Coming from Northern Ontario to study and graduate from the York University Acting Conservatory. Her past theatre credits include: Amy in the Arc theatre production of Oil, A Storyteller in the Soundstreams and Signal Theatre production of Two Odesseys: Gállábártnit/Pimooteewin, Joanna in the Soulpepper production of August: Osage County, Kilawna in the WCT, The Cultch, Persephone and Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre production of Kamloopa, among more.

Jessica Carmichael (she/her) is an artist of mixed Abénaki/Euro heritage. She specializes in directing, acting, dramaturgy and creation. She holds an appointment as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Theatre Department of Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke/Molian/Montréal. Jessica has contributed to a variety of artistic roles over the years, notably as Artistic Director of Carousel Players for three seasons, and as an artistic associate with Native Earth Performing Arts, for whom she was program director of their creators’ unit Animikiig. Jessica is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada (Acting), the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art/Kings College London (MA Text & Performance Studies with distinction), the University of Alberta (MFA Directing with distinction), and studied with the Stratford Festival’s Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction (2014, 2016). She currently serves as dramaturg for Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan’s 1939 commissioned by the Stratford Festival, as well as Corrina Hodgson’s dramaturg for Sex Garage with Playwrights Workshop Montreal. She was to direct Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters with the festival prior to Covid19, which is now postponed to an upcoming season. 

Darla Contois is a Cree-Salteaux performer and playwright. She graduated from the Centre for Indigenous Theatre’s professional training program in 2014, attended David Smukler’s National Voice Intensive and premiered her solo show White Man’s Indian at Summerworks 2017 in Toronto where she was awarded the Emerging Artist Award. Darla has since been living and working professionally in her home territory treaty one; facilitating arts/storytelling workshops, mentoring Indigenous youth, acting, writing and starting a family.

Aria Evans is a queer, Toronto-based, award winning interdisciplinary artist who’s practice spans dance; creation, performance and film. Aria draws on their experiences with Afro-Indigenous + settler heritage to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through their interactive art. With a large-scale vision, collaboration is the departure point to the work that Aria creates under their company POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Advocating for inclusion and the representation of diversity, Aria uses their artistic practice to question the ways we can coexist together. To learn more about Aria’s choreographic work visit: www.politicalmovement.ca

Eekwol (born Lindsay Knight) is a Canadian rapper from the Muskoday First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is a graduate of the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan (M.A.). Her master’s thesis, completed through the Department of Native Studies, examines past and present Indigenous music and how both are interconnected. She later worked as a lecturer in the Native Studies department for University of Saskatchewan. She is known for “a passionate stance on indigenous culture and struggle” in her lyrics, and for political and social activities. These activities include sitting on an Indigenous Advisory Council, and as of December 7, 2015, becoming the Program Consultant for Aboriginal Arts and Community Engagement for the Saskatchewan Arts Board. After attending one of the events in Saskatoon regarding Truth and Reconciliation [Canada’s mandated organization that acknowledges and documents residential schools] where she performed, she was deeply affected after hearing the stories of residential school survivors. Her reaction was to write about it, which is reflected in her song, “Ghosts”.

Jessica Lea Fleming is a Wiisaakodewinikwe (Métis) / Scottish-settler cisgendered woman originally from Penetanguishene, Ontario. She is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer and performer. Jessica creates in multi-disciplinary mediums as a means of exploring connection, identity and land-based knowledge. She is especially drawn to examining the duality and nuance of her mixed heritage as an opportunity to engage in -and encourage- emotional, environmental, social and spiritual evolution.

Jessica has directed for TV Series AMPLIFY on APTN, the pilot episode of Couleurs du Nord for TFO, as well as music videos for multi-award winning artists Celeigh Cardinal and iskwē. Her work has been featured at festivals and events such as Native Earth Performing Arts’ Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival (2014, 2018), Pan Am Games (2015), Buddies in Bad Times’ Building Reciprocity Cabaret (2017), the Indigenous Writers Gathering (2016), Skábmagovat Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary Spotlight on North America (2017), the National Screen Institute (2018), imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (2019) and the Santa Fe Film Festival where her debut short film “scales” won Best Native Narrative Short (2017).

Jessica has programmed for the Regent Park Film Festival (2016), Talking Stick Festival (2016), the AGH Film Festival (2019, 2020), SpringWorks Festival (2020), IPAA’s Inter-Tribal Gathering (2021) and has been a member of imagineNATIVE’s Awards Jury (2017). In 2015 she was a Featured Leader for the Ontario Ministry on the Status of Women and in 2017 she was one of twenty Invited Contributors to the 20th Canadian Arts Summit.

In 2020, Jessica was part of Luminato’s Fall Artist Residency and was short-listed for Canada’s Prism Prize. Currently, she is the inaugural Artist-in-Residence at Theatre Aquarius, and is creating new works for stage and screen with MM Collective, New Harlem Productions and Signal Theatre.

Katie German is a Métis performer, director, and educator. She graduated from Grant MacEwan University for theatre performance and is currently working as the director of Junior Musical Theatre Company (JMTC), artistic associate with Manitoba Theatre for Young People, a Creator with the Pimootayowin Creators Circle (RMTC) and a mother to a 2-month-old and a creative 5-year-old that shares her love of storytelling.

Recent directing and assistant directing credits include:

Winn nipi (Prairie Theatre Exchange), Embodying Power and Place Workshop (Nightwood Theatre & Harlem Productions), CAN Premier of Tuck Everlasting (JMTC), Wolf Joe (Media Rendezvous), Elizabeth Rex (Bunbury Productions), Tiny Treasures, Charlie Brown Double Bill (Manitoba Theatre for Young People).

Falen Johnson is Mohawk and Tuscarora (Bear Clan) from Six Nations Grand River Territory. Her plays include Salt Baby, Two Indians, and Ipperwash. She co-hosts The Secret Life of Canada (CBC Podcasts) with Leah Simone Bowen and Unreserved (CBC Radio One).

Monique (Guna and Rappahannock nations) Actor/Playwright – is passionately dedicated to a theatrical practice as an act of healing, of reclaiming historical/cultural memory and of resistance. Spun directly from the family-web of New York’s Spiderwoman Theater, her theatrical practice embraces her artistic lineage through mining stories embedded in the body in connection to land and place. Monique has taught Indigenous Theatre in theory, process and practice at the University of Victoria, Brown University, the University of Illinois, the Institute of American Indian Arts, McMaster University and is a former co-director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She has lectured on land-based embodied research and taught performance workshops throughout Canada, the US, Latin America and Europe. 

She was most recently seen onstage in the role of Aunt Shadie in Marie Clements’ The Unnatural and Accidental Women, the inaugural production of the new Indigenous Theatre department at The National Arts Centre, with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in the European tour of I lost my Talk as part of the Life Reflected series, Izzie M.: The Alchemy of Enfreakment written by Monique with a diverse artistic collaborative team and in Tara Beagan’s Honour Beat for Theatre Calgary. Upcoming projects include the role of dramaturg for Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Sken:en created by Santee Smith. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Chocolate Woman Collective.

At the intersection of theatre, performance and sound art, Émilie Monnet’s art practice nurtures collaborative processes of creation and are typically presented as interdisciplinary theatre or immersive performance experiences. She is currently artist-in-residence at Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui and at the National School of Theatre in Canada. Recently her work was programmed at Festival TransAmériques, the National Arts Centre and in Colombia. In 2016, she founded Indigenous Contemporary Scene (ICS), a nomadic platform for the presentation of live arts & creative exchanges for Indigenous artists. ICS’s most recent edition was presented in Edinburgh in August 2019. Her mother is an Algonquin Anishinaabekwe and her father emigrated from France. She is based between the Outaouais and Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyaang (Montréal), and is the artistic director of Onishka Productions.

Yvette Nolan (Algonquin) is a playwright, director, and dramaturg. Plays include BLADE, Annie Mae’s Movement, The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy), The Unplugging, Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show (co-writer), the libretto Shanawdithit, and the short film A Common Experience (w. Shane Belcourt). Directing credits include The Penelopiad (Ferre Play), Shanawdithit (w. Michael Mori, Tapestry Opera), Bearing (w. Michael Greyeyes, Signal Theatre at Luminato), The Piano Teacher by Dorothy Dittrich (Arts Club), In Care by Kenneth T Williams (Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwan Theatre), Nôhkom by Michael Greyeyes, Salt Baby by Falen Johnson (Globe), Map of the Land, Map of the Stars (w. Michelle Olson), Café Daughter by Kenneth T Williams, Justice by Leonard Linklater (Gwaandak), Death of a Chief, A Very Polite Genocide by Melanie J. Murray, Marie Clements’ Tombs of the Vanishing Indian and The Unnatural and Accidental Women (Native Earth), The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (Western Canada Theatre/National Arts Centre), The Only Good Indian… , The Triple Truth (Turtle Gals). As a dramaturg, she works across Turtle Island on projects including Queen Seraphina and the Land of Vertebraat by Adam Pottle, Many Fires by Charlie Peters, Ecstasy (film) by Cara Mumford, Little Badger and the Fire Spirit by Maria Campbell, Confluence by Raven Spirit Dance in Vancouver, In Care by Kenneth T Williams, A Soldier’s Tale by Tara Beagan, Ultrasound by Adam Pottle, A History of Breathing by Daniel Macdonald, The Glooskape Chronicles by Donna Loring. From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. She has been the Playwright In Residence at the National Arts Centre, the Richler Writer In Residence at McGill, the Writer in Residence at the Saskatoon Public Library, Mount Royal University, University of Regina, and Brandon University. In 2014, she founded the Short Cuts Festival of 10 Minute Plays in Saskatoon. Her book Medicine Shows about Indigenous theatre in Canada was published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2015, and Performing Indigeneity, which she co-edited with Ric Knowles, in 2016. She is an Artistic Associate of Signal Theatre.

Michelle Olson is a member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation and the Artistic Director of Raven Spirit Dance. She studied dance and performance at the University of New Mexico, the Aboriginal Arts Program at the Banff Centre and was an Ensemble Member of Full Circle First Nations Performance. Michelle works in areas of dance, theatre and opera as a choreographer, performer and movement coach and her work has been seen on stages across Canada. Selected choreographic credits include Gathering Light (Raven Spirit Dance), Mozart’s Magic Flute (Vancouver Opera), The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (Western Canada Theatre/National Arts Centre), Death of a Chief (Native Earth Performing Arts/National Arts Centre). She was the recipient of the inaugural Vancouver International Dance Festival Choreographic Award.She graduated as a Certified Movement Analyst from Laban/Bartenieff and Somatic Studies Canada and is currently teaching at Langara’s Studio 58.

Joelle Peters (she/her) is a Toronto-based Anishinaabe & Miami actor/playwright from Walpole Island First Nation in Southwestern Ontario. A graduate of Seneca College’s Acting for Camera and Voice program, recent theatre credits include: Queenie’s Castle (Women at Plays Festival), The Election (Nightwood/Theatre Direct/Commonboots/Theatre Passe Muraille), Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin (Signal/Soundstreams). In 2020, Joelle was selected as laureate Tara Beagan’s protégée for the Siminovitch Prize. Joelle’s plays include Frozen River (co-written by Carrie Costello and Michaela Washburn, world premiere set for early 2022) and Niish (in development with Native Earth’s Animikiig Creator’s Unit and commissioned by the Blyth Festival).  

Natalie Sappier-Samaqani Cocahq (The Water Spirit) is a Wolastoqiyik Indigenous multidisciplinary storyteller from Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick. She began her arts practice as a painter. Painting awakened her healing journey. She is constantly enlightened by learning from the lands, waters and her Wabanaki people and carries the teachings pass down to her as the core of her artistic practice. She realized early in her painting career that she was not painting just for herself, but she was painting for her people-She was painting for her ancestors-She is painting for her people-She is painting for healing. Today she feels her stories need to be heard louder than a painting can speak and she began a journey of expressing her stories through song and spoken word. Learning, creating and sharing with her Wabanaki Sisters and Brothers to carry forward stories for our next generations. For she believes that this is our Indigenous way of being and teaching.

She has written and composed her first play Finding Wolastoq Voice that has toured on National Stages and she is currently the Artist in Residence at University of New Brunswick. Aside from her own artistic practice, Samaqani dedicates much of her time in the advocacy of the arts, culture, wellness and mentorship for Indigenous artists and participates in numerous collaborations of diverse circles that focus on community initiatives and projects.

jaye simpson an Oji-Cree Saulteaux indigiqueer writer with roots in Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. They often write about being queer in the Child Welfare system, as well as being queer and Indigenous. Their work has been featured in Poetry Is Dead, This Magazine, PRIMS international, SAD Mag, GUTS Magazine and Room. simpson resides on the unceded and ancestral territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), səlilwəta’Ɂɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations peoples, currently and colonially known as Vancouver, BC.

Michaela Washburn is a queer Métis artist of Cree, Irish, French and English ancestry. Her practice includes: theatre, film, playwriting, spoken word, drag, clown, stand-up, hosting, improvisation and workshop facilitation.  An award winning actor, Michaela also has multiple nominations. Most notably for the Ontario Arts Council’s Indigenous Arts Award, and the K. M. Hunter Artist Award for Theatre. A published poet, Michaela’s performance and written work has been shared internationally at festivals and theatres in Wales, Aruba and across Canada and the United States. Presently, Washburn is proud and honoured to be one of the inaugural Artists in Residence with Necessary Angel Theatre Company, an Associate Artist with the Stratford Festival and an Ontario representative for CAEA’s elected national council.

Tara Sky is a queer mixedblood Indigenous actor who grew up in Tkarón:to/Toronto. She is a second generation artist and a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada for Acting. And while their focus is mostly on acting they have a passion for singing, a love for writing, an interest in directing and a drive to try just about everything.

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone is a free spirit interdisciplinary artist and activist. Though she is a proud Anishinaabe Kwe of mixed ancestry; Ojibwe Métis with Irish and French heritage, she also identifies as a 2Spirit genderless being.Through this difficult time Aqua is continuing to perform her original medicine music and lead circles for her community as she is an advocate for anyone who has endured violence and adversity. She provides a safe space in her sacred circles and performances so the community can grow together, stronger, forever as a whole.

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard aka Belladonna the Blest is an emcee, playwright and agitator. Her main body of work, the 54ology, includes: Cake, Sound of the Beast, A Man A Fish, Salome’s Clothes, Gas Girls, Give It Up, The Smell of Horses, and The First Stone. Works for young audiences include the META-nominated Reaching For Starlight, The Chariot, and Rabbit King of Kenya. Opera libretti include Forbidden (Afarin Mansouri/Tapestry Opera) and Oubliette (Ivan Barbotin/Tapestry Opera). She is co-editor with Yvette Nolan of the Playwrights Canada Press anthology Refractions: Solo and editor of Indian Act: Residential School Plays. 

She/They pronouns

Based out of K’jipuktu’k (Halifax), Kassidy has been a lifelong learner and explorer — and in her 23 years of life, has seized opportunities for personal and community growth. Kassidy uses their understanding of design to engage positively with the world around them, and to be a role model for other Mi’kmaq.

Her creative work is informed not only by instruction in classrooms, but also through intersectional activism and anti-oppressive practices she began learning during her role as Indigenous Rep and then President at the Student Union of NSCAD University.

These experiences have helped shape her leadership skills, and starting in May 2020, Kassidy has now transitioned into two new roles with the Canadian Federation of Students. Outside of being Head Designer of Patuo’kn, they also work as Indigenous Rep for the Canadian Federation of Students Nova Scotia and as the first Circle Women, Two-Spirit, Trans and Non-Binary Rep of the Circle of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Students.

Based out of We’koqma’q First Nation, Kaylyn Bernard is passionate about illustration, and is grounded in cultural Mi’kmaq practices. Her expertise lies in illustration, and she has extensive experience in design and other creative outlets. Kaylyn is most interested in portraiture work and enjoys working with clients to best encapsulate the subject and personality they are looking for in her work. https://patuokn.com/

B.C. Batty is a graduate of Humber College Theatre Production program, and has been a technician, stage manager, and designer for numerous productions and events across Ontario for the past decade.

Selected work includes: Cherry Docs (2018/Yardcore Productions), SPAWN ( 2017 / Wild Woman Theatre) Ralph + Lina ( 2014-2016 / Edge of The Woods Theatre), Brantwood (2015 / Sheridan ), KOMUNKA (2014 / Sky Gilbert ), Death Married My Daughter (2013 / Michelle Smith and Dean Gilmour), The Last Dance (2013 / Sedina Fiati), Smother (2012 / Omar Hady), Zugzwang (2011 / Frankie Hall), The Naked Ballerina ( 2010 / Sarah Murphy-Dyson), and AMAL (2019 / MTSpace).

He has shared his skills and knowledge as mentor guest artist at Sheridan and Humber Colleges. He was also the Program Coordinator for the Out of The Box Summer Workshop Series for Youth and Technical Director for The Edge of The Woods Theatre Festival. Bryan is the current Festival Lighting Designer and Production Manager for Native Earth’s Weesageechak Festival (2018-2020). He is also the Production Manager for MTSpace’s Impact Festival in 2021.

Naz Afsahi (She/They) oversees a portfolio at Nightwood Theatre that includes a unique mix that falls across both artistic and management duties. You can find her on any given day focusing on producing to-dos such as contracting, grant applications and bookkeeping, as well as administrating many of the artistic programs offered by Nightwood and even moonlighting as an Assistant Stage Manager on the Lawyer Show! Naz is delighted to start her sixth season with the company and deeply values the unique mission that Nightwood brings to the sector. She is passionate about issues relating to equity, trans rights, as well as race and representation. A intersectional feminist of colour, Naz is addicted to contemporary romance novels, cooking while watching British reality television or makeup declutter videos on Youtube, working on restoring her Tennyson dollhouse, yin yoga and cuddles. Naz believes in community engagement and volunteering: Naz is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Paprika Festival, and a blog-editor with Shameless Magazine. Prior to joining Nightwood, Naz spent five seasons with Theatre Direct in a variety of roles, and has served on two Juries at the Ontario Arts Council and as a Jury Member on TAPA’s 14-15 Dora Juror Committee for the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) category. Naz holds a Masters of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario, and an Honours B.A. (Film Studies/Religious Studies) from Queen’s University.

(They/Them: Anishinaabe, Nipissing First Nation) Olivia Shortt is a Tkarón:to-based trans-disciplinary performing artist. They are a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, noisemaker, improviser, composer, sound designer, curator, administrator, and producer.

Highlights include their Lincoln Center (NYC) debut performing with the International Contemporary Ensemble, their film debut performing in Atom Egoyan’s 2019 film ‘Guest of Honour’, as well as recording an album two kilometres underground in the SnoLAB (Neutrino Lab in Sudbury, Canada). Over the last year, they have been a sound design fellow with Why Not Theatre’s ThisGEN and are a member of the RBC Apprentice Program with Musical Stage Co.

Most recently, they were awarded and named one of the 2020 Buddies in Bad Times’Emerging Queer Artists and are featured in the Musicworks Magazine Winter 2020 edition. www.olivia-shortt.com

Cosette Pin is an international, multi-disciplinary designer, designing lighting, sound, projections, and sets for theatre and live performance. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada in Production Design and Technical Arts, she is excited to be collaborating and discovering new ways to continue creating theatre as sound designer and composer with her co-designer Olivia Shortt, and such an exceptional and passionate group of individuals on Embodying Power and Place. Recent sound design credits include Heathers: The Musical (Musical Theatre Productions), Postcards from the Train (Gros Morne Summer Music), The Words We Do Not Have (National Theatre School), The Wolves (Howland/Crows Theatre, Asst), Grace (Nightwood, Asst), Cannibal (Scrap Paper Theatre), Every Day She Rose (Nightwood).

Carr Sappier (Wolastoqew) is a two-spirited multi-genre filmmaker from Neqotkuk who just returned home from Vancouver after receiving a BFA in film at Simon Fraser University. Carr’s passion for filmmaking stems from an aspiration to decolonize the screen, and to offer an alternative and non-binary perspective of Wolastoqew storytelling. Blending and morphing different genre styles and film mediums provides Carr with methods to express their two-spirited and Wolastoqew identity. Currently Carr is co-instructing the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival course offered online at Simon Fraser University. Carr co-founded and co-directed the festival in their final year of study at SFU. Moreover, Carr is sharing their time with like-minded individuals in their community to encourage Neqotkuk to create space and support for the Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+ youth.

Grandmother Pauline Shirt was born and raised with her seven sisters and one brother in Alberta,Canada on the Saddle Lake Reserve, where her family raised horses and farmed the land.  

She is a first speaker in her Indigenous language of Plains Cree.   

In the late sixties she moved her family to Toronto, where she and her then husband, the late Vern Harper raised their five children. 

She has been part of an Indigenous Medicine Society since the early 1980’s, where she holds a degree in sacred Indigenous Knowledge, equivalent to a PhD in western based education systems.

Pauline is a wisdom keeper and pioneer in indigenous education, holistic health and judicial system changes in Canada.  This continues to makes her well sought after for her traditional teachings, lectures, and wise counsel. 

Most notable highlights:

  • The Name Unspoken: Kapapamahchakwew 2019 (Co-author Sharon Berg) – Winner of 2020 IPPY Award Best Nonfiction Book Regional Canada East Bronze Medal
  •  Elder advisory council – Attorney General of Ontario (2015 – present)
  • Co-founder of the first urban native way school in Canada – Wandering Spirit Survival School 1974 (Wandering Spirit School-Kapapamahchakwew, Toronto – Present)
  •  President of Indian Rights for Indian Women of Canada – repelling Indian Act Bill c31 and the White Paper. (1970-80’s)
  • Co-organizer of the southern Ontario leg of the Native People’s Caravan to Ottawa 1974 – Cross Canada mobilization and demonstration in support of land and water rights of native people in Canada.
  • Founder of the first independent indigenous holistic practitioner’s clinic 1984 – Red Willow, Toronto.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Samantha Brown, Katie German, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Joelle Peters, Mayko Nguyen, Ty Sloane and Rose Stella.