NWIA Job Posting: Artistic Producer





Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is Canada’s leading arts organization for Indigenous women artists working at the intersection of traditional and contemporary practices. NWIA supports multi-disciplinary artistic expression by connecting, training and presenting emerging, mid-career and established female artists whose work reflects a commitment to art, culture, community, and the advancement of Indigenous people. Thought focused on the development of Indigenous women as creators, our projects are inclusive of youth, men and two-spirited artists, and our programming connects to a diverse participant and audience base, predominantly in Toronto and across Ontario.

NWIA is currently seeking a dynamic and creative professional with experience in Indigenous arts to become our new Artistic Producer. This is an exciting position with a great deal of creative freedom. The role includes taking a leadership role on artistic and community projects, the management of a small team of staff, grant writing and reporting, working with a dedicated Board of Directors, and allows for creative and professional growth including occasional travel opportunities. This position offers a starting annual salary of $41- 45K depending on experience, and is a 4-day per week position that includes paid vacation, sick days and cultural leave.

Qualifications and Experience Required:

  • Strong leadership, organizational and communication skills.

  • A deep understanding of, commitment to and engagement with the vision of Native Women in the Arts.

  • 3 years of experience in a management and/or production in the arts and culture sector.

  • Knowledge of and demonstrated experience within Indigenous arts and culture.

  • Experience in producing community-engaged arts projects or programs.

  • Success in grant writing, with an understanding of the current arts funding climate.

  • Fundraising experience will be considered an asset.

  • Demonstrated experience-managing budgets, including budget preparation, forecasting and reporting.

  • Demonstrated project management, administration and organizational skills.

  • Collegiality

In brief, duties include but are not limited to:

Curation and Production

  • Curates and coordinates Native Women in the Arts projects: performances, concerts, exhibits, symposiums, and community development projects. (See for recent projects)

Fundraising and Grant Writing

  • Identifies opportunities and prepares grant applications for funding from arts councils and other public funders.
  • Works with the Board of Directors and consultants to develop fundraising strategies for donors and a small selection of corporate donors.


  • Manages a small team of staff, delegating responsibilities in areas related to their employment contract.

  • Oversees budget, payment of staff, and project related invoices.

  • Oversees, with oversight and support from the Policy and Operations Committee, hiring of new staff, employee reviews, and exit interviews if requested.

Community Liaison

  • Builds a positive profile for NWIA by developing community-based partnerships with Indigenous and arts focused organizations, and liaising with funders, artists and arts presenters.

Promotion & Marketing

  • Promotes and publicizes all projects, events and activities at NWIA with the assistance of the Events Committee and NWIA Staff.


  • Prepares project and operating budgets and reporting with assistance from our Bookkeeper.

How to Apply:

Candidates should submit a resume and cover letter that highlight your relevant experience no later than January 3rd, 2018 to No phone inquiries, please. Due to the high-level of applications, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Contact Info: Hiring Committee,

Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings: Indigenous Tattoo Resurgence Panel

We are pleased to announce the next event for the Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings, presented in partnership with the Onsite Gallery at OCAD U.

On Thursday, November 16, Native Women in the Arts will host the Indigenous Tattoo Resurgence Panel with Holly NordlumMaya Jacobsen, and Jay Soule, moderated by Aylan Couchie.

The talk will focus on revitalization, ancient traditions, design, health & safety, technique, and the importance of preservation. Holly will also be giving us a sneak peek of her up and coming documentary Tupik: Inuit Ink.

The Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings connect cultural leaders to the Indigenous community in Toronto. Leaders discuss identity, wellness, language revitalization, traditional arts, ceremony, and history, as well as issues that face our communities such as climate change and the environment, decolonization, reconciliation, and sovereignty. Through monthly presentations, based on each leader’s own distinct nation and culture, the gatherings strengthen, empower, and support our community. Ka’nikonhrí:yo means to have a good mind in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk).

Artist Panel: Thursday, November 16, 2017 I 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Onsite Gallery, OCAD U, 199 Richmond St W, Toronto
Admission: FREE
For more info:
FB Event Page:


Holly Nordlum

Holly Mitotique Nordlum is an Inupiaq artist, born in Kotzebue, Alaska. Throughout her childhood Holly developed an appreciation for her culture, art, and life in the arctic. A couple of great art teachers throughout high school, (Susan Mason in Kotzebue, and Cindy Yarawamai at Hawaii Preparatory Academy), encouraged and inspired Holly.  Her mother, Lucy, is also an artist and led her by example. Holly attended the University of Alaska, Anchorage and completed a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Graphic Design and Photography. While in school she also explored jewelry making, printmaking and sculpture.

Holly opened Naniq Design soon after graduation in 2004. She works full-time as a graphic designer and artist and Traditional Tattooist. She lives in Anchorage.


Maya Jacobsen

Maya Sialuk Jacobsen is Inuk from Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland, currently living in Svendborg, Denmark. Maya Sialuk is a Culture Bearer, researcher and educator, with 16 years of tattoo experience. The first ten years of her career she practiced western tattooing, and the last six she has spent solely committed to Inuit Tattoo Traditions.

She is co-owner of two tattoo shops in Oslo, Norway, and has 5 years experience from the Norwegian Tattoo Union, negotiating legislation with the authorities in Norway on health and safety in tattooing.

When Maya is not tattooing in her home studio, she is travelling in Inuit countries and teaching traditional tattoo methods to Inuit women, or working with research and culture preservation.


Jay Soule

Jay Soule is a Chippewa/Lebanese multimedia artist from the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation in Southern Ontario. Soule creates art under the name CHIPPEWAR; a play on words “Chippewa” and “warrior.”

Splitting his time between several styles of artistic work from tattooing, body piercing, painting, sculpting, installation work, music as well as his line of CHIPPEWAR war clothing. From spring to fall can find him on the Pow Wow trail selling his art, clothing and other.

 He has been working as a professional body piercer for the last 17 years and tattooing for the last 13 year in professional shops in the USA, England, Australia and Canada.

In 2005, Jay established his company Armoured Soul Tattoos – Piercing & Art Gallery currently located 721 Queen St. West, Unit B Toronto. The studio’s walls are covered with his painting and carry his clothing line and a huge selection of piercing jewelry.

You can visit to see his artwork and clothing, go to to see his Tattoo & Piercing portfolio or book an appointment in this Toronto Studio.


Aylan Couchie

Aylan Couchie is an interdisciplinary Anishinaabe artist and writer hailing from Nipissing (Nbisiing) First Nation in Northern Ontario. Though now based in Toronto, she received her BFA with a major in sculpture from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is currently an MFA Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design program at OCAD University where she is pursuing her graduate studies with a focus on Indigenous monument and public art.

Her work explores ideas of colonialism, land and First Nation realities and histories from her Two­-Spirit, feminist perspective. While serving as director of marketing for The Front Room Gallery, she initiated and lead Barrie’s “Who New?!” Downtown Art Crawls as well as several other events in partnership with local organizations. She’s community­ driven and asserts an Indigenous presence on arts advisory committees and juries. She’s been the recipient of several awards including “Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture” through the International Sculpture Center and the Inaugural Barbara Laronde Award from Native Women in the Arts.

Most recently, Aylan won a Premier’s Award through Ontario Colleges which allowed her to create and establish a 5 year scholarship in support of single Indigenous mothers excelling in a post­-secondary program at Georgian College.

Onsite Gallery 

Onsite Gallery, OCAD University’s professional gallery and experimental curatorial platform for art, design and digital media, fosters social and cultural transformations. Onsite Gallery serves the OCAD University community and the general public.

Kwe Performance Series: Ulali Project

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the Kwe Performance Series: Ulali Project, in partnership with St. Anne’s Anglican Church and Big Medicine Studio. 

The evening will include a performance by world renowned a cappella group Ulali Project, with guest artist. This concert is the first event of our Kwe Performance Series for the second season.

Toronto Performance: Saturday, November 4, 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Venue: St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Avenue, Toronto, ON
Tickets: Adults $20.00/Elders, Students, Underemployed & Art Workers $10.00

FB Event Page:

On Thursday, November 3, at Nipissing First Nation, Pura Fé and Jennifer Kreisberg of Ulali Project will present a free community workshop at Big Medicine Studio, followed by a community performance. Pura Fé and Jennifer Kreisberg will perform and discuss hand drum songs, invite participants to join in, and answer questions.

Nipissing Community Workshop: Friday, November 3, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Big Medicine Studio, 161 Couchie Memorial Drive, North Bay, ON
Admission: Free

Nipissing Community Performance: Friday, November 3, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Big Medicine Studio, 161 Couchie Memorial Drive, North Bay, ON
Admission: PWYC

FB Event Page:
For more info:

Ulali Project

Ulali Project

In 1987, the a capella trio Ulali was formed by original members Pura Fé, Jennifer Kreisberg, and Soni Moreno. The group really hit its stride with their debut album Mahk Jchi. It seemed like that Ulali was everywhere and their songs were played across Turtle Island and around the world. Soon after the phenomenal success of Mahk Jchi, the Miramax film (now a classic film) Smoke Signals was released in theaters. The film by Cheyenne-Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre featured the Ulali songs Forgive Our Fathers Suite (aka Wahjeeleh-Yihm) and All My Relations. Both songs were highlighted in some of the film’s most poignant scenes. The film experienced the same tremendous market crossover and international success that Ulali’s music had. Ulali’s audience went off the charts. Ulali traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe performing at venues like Woodstock ‘94, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the 1997 Smithsonian’s Folkways 50th Anniversary Gala at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the 1998 WOMAD Festival in Seattle, the 1998 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, V Day 2001 at Madison Square Garden, the 2001 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2004 they performed at the Kennedy Center and the National Mall for the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. The list goes on in a wide range of impressive venues and benefit performances. They performed in Canada and abroad in Brazil, Corsica, Fiji, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, New Caledonia and Portugal.

The current incarnation of Ulali Project reformed in 2014. Their first performance was at the River People Music Festival in North Carolina, a festival celebrating southeastern American Indian music and traditions. Their haunting voices and rich percussion have connected with audiences across the United States, and they have shared their music in honor of environmental causes and Indigenous justice issues. The group-currently made up of original founders Pura Fé and Jennifer Kreisberg, along with new members Charly Lowry and Layla Locklear-brings together a unique blend of Native American music, including jazz, folk, and soul.

St. Anne’s Anglican Church

St. Anne’s Church was founded in 1862 to serve the small rural hamlet of Brockton.  As the city grew up around the church, the number of parishioners outgrew the small neo-gothic village church, and in 1907 the present church was constructed in the style of the Byzantine Revival.  In the early 1920s the church interior was decorated and painted with murals by artists who would later become members of Canada’s famous Group of Seven. These early 20th Century architecture and art decisions are the foundation for a continuing relationship between St. Anne’s and the arts community in Toronto.

Big Medicine Studio

Big Medicine Studio is located on the lakeshore of Lake Nipissing on Nipissing First Nation, near North Bay, Ontario. Big Medicine Studio is a 1,200 square foot multi-use studio with 14-foot ceiling height and seating capacity for 60 people. It is privately owned and operated by Penny Couchie and Sid Bobb.

Since it’s opening in October 2010, Big Medicine Studio has hosted four Salons to audiences up to 60 people, hosted a ten day mentorship with an internationally renowned theatre artist in story weaving, hosted a 7-day Arts For All workshop engaging 15 participants in visual, dance, music and theatre arts activities, hosted a number of research and development residencies in new works for dance and theatre, hosted a seven day workshop in Contemporary Indigenous Dance and Dramaturgy, holds ongoing dance,  theatre, visual arts, music and media arts for people of all ages and abilities and hosted many traditional ceremonies for the community in Nipissing First Nation, North Bay and surrounding area.

Big Medicine Studio is the only dedicated arts studio of it’s kind in the region, situated on a First Nations. Built as a home for the creation, development and exhibition of performing and visual arts, it is a place where community comes together to celebrate and engage in arts and culture.

Kwe Performance Series

The Kwe Performance Series is the evolution of NWIA’s long-standing Catalyst Series. Under the new name and with new direction, the Kwe Performance Series presents performances and workshops by performing artists from diverse nations and communities. The events always take place both in Toronto and in varying on-reserve and underserviced communities in arts in Ontario.

NWIA: Artistic Director Job Posting






Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is Canada’s leading arts organization for Indigenous women artists working at the intersection of traditional and contemporary practices. NWIA supports multi-disciplinary artistic expression by connecting, training and presenting emerging, mid-career and established female artists whose work reflects a commitment to art, culture, community, and the advancement of Indigenous people. NWIA serves as a site of artistic exchange, encouraging dialogue between artists and audiences about social, cultural and political issues and their relationship to artistic expression. Though focused on the development of Indigenous women as creators, our projects are inclusive of youth, men and two-spirited artists, and our programming connects to a diverse participant and audience base, predominantly across Ontario.


We are currently seeking a dynamic professional with proven experience in indigenous arts to become the creative and administrative lead of the organization as Artistic Director. This is an exciting leadership position, involving directing artistic and community projects, management of a small team of staff, leading grant writing and reporting, working with a dedicated Board of Directors, and allows for creative and professional growth including occasional travel in-province. This position offers a starting annual salary of $40,000, with 4 weeks paid vacation, sick days and cultural leave, is 4-days (32 hours) a week with some flexibility in terms of hours worked in-office.


Qualifications and Experience Required:

  • Strong leadership, organizational and communication skills: highly detailed; self-motivated.
  • A deep understanding of, commitment to and engagement with the vision of Native Women in the Arts
  • 3-5 years of not-for-profit experience in a management and/or production in the arts and culture sector
  • Knowledge of and experience within Indigenous arts and culture
  • Experience in managing and producing community-engaged arts projects or programs.
  • Proven success in grant writing, with an understanding of the current arts funding climate. Fundraising experience will be considered an asset.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills, including a proven ability to engage sponsors, donors and community leaders
  • Demonstrated experience managing budgets, including budget preparation, forecasting and reporting to funders.
  • Demonstrated project management, administration and organizational skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and strong computer skills (Excel, Word) required.
  • Experience working with volunteer boards and committees.


In brief, duties include but are not limited to:


  • Programs and coordinates all aspects of Native Women in the Arts’ projects: performances, concerts, exhibits, publications, symposiums, and community development projects.

 Fundraising and Grant Writing

  • Identifies opportunities and prepares grant applications for funding to all levels of government, these include but not limited to the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and Canadian Heritage.
  • Prepares final reports and financial information associated with government grants.
  • Works with the Board of Directors and consultants to develop fundraising strategies for individual donors, foundations, corporate sponsors, and special events.
  • Prepares proposals for funding to corporations, foundations, and other sources of sponsorship.


  • Manages all seasonal and contractual staff, delegating responsibilities in areas related to their employment contract with the Board of Directors.
  • Oversees budget and payment of staff and projects invoices
  • Oversees, with oversight and support from the Policy and Operations Committee, hiring of new staff, employee reviews, exit interviews if requested, and termination of employees.

Community Liaison

  • Represents NWIA to funders, arts presenters, partners, corporations, individuals, government, foundations, and sponsors, with support from the Board of Directors.

 Promotion & Marketing

  • Promotes and publicizes all projects, events and activities at NWIA with the assistance of the Events Committee and NWIA Staff.


  • Prepares all project and operating budgets, and final reporting, including annual audit with assistance from the Board and Bookkeeper.


How to Apply:

Qualified candidates should submit a detailed resume and cover letter no later than October 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm EST to Flexible start date, with a desired start in November 2017. No phone inquiries, please. Due to the high-level of applications, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

We encourage applications from First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons, and members of diverse cultural communities and LGBT2Q-identified persons.


Contact Info: Hiring Committee,


Women’s Hand Drumming in partnership with IndigenEd and the Centre for Indigenous Theatre

Native Women in the Arts, in partnership with IndigenEd & Centre for Indigenous Theatre, is pleased to present Women’s Hand Drumming.

This series of women’s hand-drumming sessions are intended as practice and learning spaces for emerging and novice drummers. Origin stories of songs, protocols, leading songs, and cultural contexts will be integrated into the teaching of each song & participants are encouraged to share their knowledge. These sessions aim to respect a diversity of teachings & beliefs – all participants are asked to attend with this intention in mind.

Fall Schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 12 – Veronica – Intention, Connection & Gratitude
Thursday, Oct. 26 – Aqua – Two Spirit Truth
Thursday, Nov. 9 – Veronica – Being Responsible for our Energy
Thursday, Nov. 23 – Veronica – Respect, Shaming & Moon Lodge
Thursday, Dec. 7 – Veronica – Affirmations & Manifesting

Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Address: 180 Shaw St, Suite 209, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

These sessions are open to all female-identified and non-binary individuals. A light snack and refreshments will be provided. Children are always welcome. Please note that childcare is not provided. Sessions are DROP-IN & FREE though registration is requested. Please send your name and email address to, along with any questions you may have. There is no deadline for registration, and this circle will invite new members continuously.


1. Gather and empower female identified people through music and ceremony.

2. Revitalize the traditional principles of gender equality mechanisms and spiritual practices and recognize rematriation in progress as a way to decolonize.

Featured Hand Drummer Hosts:

Veronica Johnny, Muskose’wukaw pussa’w Iskwao (Meadow Valley Woman) – is of mixed Cree Metis & Dene First Nations descent. She is a traditional & contemporary two-spirit Indigenous hand-drummer from Fort Smith, NWT. Veronica shares indigenous teachings, hosts drum circles and sings healing songs for the good of all life everywhere. She facilitates arts-education workshops including self-esteem, music and cultural teachings. Veronica is also a singer/songwriter and the front woman, vocalist and manager of The Johnnys, a high-energy rock band she founded with husband Dave Johnny; and an artist entrepreneur as the founder of IndigenEd – Indigenous Education for all – “creating understanding between Indigenous and non-indigenous people.”

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone (Water Flower) is a hand-drummer and singer/songwriter. Aqua crafts music reflecting her deep respect for Indigenous traditions, and determination to thrive as an artist, Métis woman of Ojibwe descent. On one hand her process is one of purposeful reflection and healing, translating life’s challenges into melody and verse to uplift herself and others. On the other, she is mindful of remaining open to universal energies, allowing spirit to channel music through her, unfiltered, with surprising, powerful results. Aqua works to empower youth and women, is a longstanding facilitator of community drum circles, a partner with several Indigenous organizations, regularly collaborates with like-minded artists, and facilitates cultural workshops across Ontario.


Along with learning and singing drum songs, each session will focus on one or more topics – indigenous teachings & perspectives will be shared within each.

To encourage giving the participants more experience, each facilitator will choose a helper each session.

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NWIA Announces Departure Of Artistic Director, Erika Iserhoff

It is with both appreciation and sadness that Native Women in the Arts announces the departure of our Artistic Director, Erika Iserhoff. Erika has led the organization for over 5 years, and greatly contributed to its growth and dynamism. Erika departs NWIA to enter a new and exciting position as Grants Facilitator for the recently launched Indigenous Culture Fund.


Artistic Director, Erika Iserhoff

“Erika has proven herself as an outstanding leader in many respects,” says NWIA Chair of the Board Kerry Potts. “She came to us as someone with a great deal of potential, with so much creative ability, and a real grounding in the indigenous arts community, as well as in her own indigenous culture.  Her potential has transformed over the years into genuine leadership ability. She has truly raised NWIA to new heights.”

In her time at NWIA, Erika has overseen the financial growth of the organization by connecting with a range of new partners and funders.  This has allowed the organization to grow our team of staff and offer new and exciting artistic and community projects. With her leadership, NWIA built new connections to communities in Northern Ontario, assisted in launching the annual Barbara Laronde Award for emerging artists, presented a new cultural series that connect artistic minds to cultural teachers, and grown the Kwe Performance Series into a meaningful platform to showcase some of our most exceptional Indigenous talent and connect them to schools, under-serviced communities, and Toronto audiences and organizations.  In this final year, she worked with NWIA’s Mentor, Denise Bolduc, to help produce Tributaries that opened this year’s Luminato Festival, was named the emerging laureate of the Ontario Art Council’s Indigenous Arts Award, and moved NWIA into it’s new home at the Artscape Youngplace in the former Shaw Street School.

In departing, Erika offers these words: “It has been an amazing almost six years of working as the Artistic Producer and Artistic Director at Native Women in the Arts. I want to say chi miigwetch for the opportunity to grow with NWIA over these years, and I am very thankful to everyone who has supported me in these roles, from my mentors Kerry Swanson and Denise Bolduc, to my colleagues, Christa Couture and Quach George. NWIA could not have gotten through it all without each of you!”

“Going forward, I have been given an opportunity to play an expanded role in the development and funding of Indigenous cultural projects with the Ontario Arts Council. This new opportunity involves facilitating cultural grants for First Nation’s projects, and this important work is a continuance of my work at NWIA. I would like to thank everyone I have worked with thus far within Indigenous arts and cultural communities, and I look forward to continuing to work with everyone, and to also developing new relationships in these communities.”

The Board and Staff at NWIA send thanks to Erika for her dedication to this organization and to Indigenous artists, and for being a well-loved leader and manager.  She will be missed, but we know that our relationship will continue as she moves into this exciting new position at the Ontario Arts Council.

Native Women in the Arts is currently seeking applications for the position of Artistic Director, and is accepting resumes to by October 23rd, 2017. Please visit and find us on Facebook for the job posting.  Due to the volume of applicants, please direct inquiries to exclusively.

Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings: Aztec Dance Workshop


We are pleased to announce the next workshop for the Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings: Aztec Dancing with Mapuchedub and Jesus Mora at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre.

The Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings connects cultural leaders to the Indigenous community in Toronto. Leaders who discuss identity, wellness, language revitalization, traditional arts, ceremony, and history, as well as issues that face our communities such as climate change and the environment, decolonization, reconciliation, and sovereignty. Through monthly presentations, based on each leader’s own distinct nation and culture, the gatherings strengthen, empower, and support our community members. Ka’nikonhrí:yo means to have a good mind in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk).

Join us on Saturday, September 23 for the Aztec dance workshop with re-known dancers Mapuchedub and Jesus Mora. Together they will lead a workshop that includes movement, teachings and traditional music. This workshop is open to all members of the community to attend. They have been working within the arts community for many years to bring their culture and traditions from Mexico to the community in Toronto.

About the Aztec Dance Workshop:

Aztec dance is a traditional pre-Hispanic dance from Mexico. Aztec dance is a connection with mother earth and the universe, it is a prayer in movement. During this workshop people will be introduced to this ancient practice and be able to gain full knowledge of the dance. Participants will take with them the richness of Aztec/Mexica vision through this artistic discipline. This workshop is a representation of the eagle and the condor coming together through movement of the body and spirit.

Saturday, September 23, 2017 | 3pm – 6pm
Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Suite 209, 180 Shaw St, Toronto
For more info:
Facebook Event Page:

Mapuchedub and Jesus Mora

Mapuchedub & Jesus Mora

About Mapuchedub:

Mapuchedub is Toronto born of Mapuche and Quechua ancestry. She is a mother of two children and they are her inspiration in life. Mapuchedub is recognized for her Aztec dance and has performed and facilitated workshops at various events throughout Toronto, Ontario and Canada. In the mid 90’s she travelled to south America to reconnect to her roots. This journey paved the foundation of her future work with Indigenous people worldwide. She is the creator and writer of an online comic about the connections between African and Indigenous communities in Bolivia and the sacred medicine; Coca. She has contributed photography and design of IR: Indigenous Resistance and The Fire This Time videos: Journey to SosolakamI love da FutureLa Revoluta,and the imagineNATIVE award winning multimedia piece Dub Navigation. She is a member of 7 Directions; a land based project which supports Indigenous cultural renewal. She is an actor and member of The Beautiful Canoe Collective, working on their future theatre production based on birth stories. The Beautiful Canoe Collective performed and facilitated workshops at Trent University 41st Annual Elder and Traditional gathering.

About Jesus Mora:

Jesus Mora was born in 1971 in a suburb near Mexico City. In 1997 he moved to Toronto and studied at Ontario College of Art in the Drawing & Painting program, where is now lives and works as a multidisciplinary artist. As a teenager, Mora was involved in theatre and has been a part of the performance community since 2003. In 2005 Mora became a member of the Mexica (Aztec) Dance group in Toronto where they have been invited to perform at pow wows, presentations, celebrations, ceremonies and festivals in Mexico, Ontario, Quebec and Vancouver. Mora has engaged with the Aztec Dance Circle as a dancer, drummer and the conch player (prehispanic instrument that represents the element of wind).

Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings: Sundance Teachings with Harry & Juliana Snowboy

We are pleased to announce the next speakers for the Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings, in partnership with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto:

The Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings connects cultural leaders to the Indigenous community in Toronto. Leaders who discuss identity, wellness, language revitalization, traditional arts, ceremony, and history, as well as issues that face our communities such as climate change and the environment, decolonization, reconciliation, and sovereignty. Through monthly presentations, based on each leader’s own distinct nation and culture, the gatherings strengthen, empower, and support our community members.

The next speakers in the series are:

Harry and Juliana Snowboy, will discuss Sundance teachings and answer questions with respect to the spirit, history, and origins of Sundance ceremonies, and the importance of gaining spiritual sovereignty, and the reclamation of our sacred culture and traditions. Harry and Juliana are the Sundance leaders of the annual Rattlechild Sundance ceremony situated in the traditional territory of the Anishnawbe of Henvey Inlet, First Nation. Both Harry and Juliana are the keepers of various sacred ceremonies and are regarded as Elders and Healers in their community. Both are well-known across the country for the healing and cultural work they have been doing for over 25 years. We are very happy to be hosting them and providing this opportunity to share their wisdom with us. Please join us for this important and inspiring discussion.

Friday, August 11, 2017 | 3pm – 5pm
Auditorium, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, 16 Spadina Rd, Toronto
For more info:
FB Event Page:

Harry & Juliana SnowboyHarry & Juliana Snowboy

About Harry Snowboy:

Harry Snowboy (James Bay Cree), is an author, public speaker, cultural advisor, and a traditional healer to numerous Native communities. A former Director of an Aboriginal Police Force, Harry provides information sessions and guidance on leadership, team-work, and lateral violence in the workplace, as well as reviewing and assessing projects involving programs focused on community well-being. His extensive experience in crisis response has provided him with insight on managing both short and long-term crises. He has also provided guidance to organizations seeking to incorporate holistic approaches on problematic issues facing many Native communities. These discussions are geared towards fostering understanding and bridging the gap between traditional and non-Indigenous belief systems (Languages – English, Cree).

About Juliana Matoush-Snowboy:

 Juliana Matoush-Snowboy (James Bay Cree), holds a B.A. in Psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. She is trained in suicide intervention (ASSIST, 2002), spent six years as the Social and Health Planning and Programming Officer for CBHSSJB in Chisasibi, Quebec, and worked as an interviewer for Health Canada in Eeyou Astchee. She works closely with her husband, Harry Snowboy, in running various traditional and healing gatherings both in Cree and urban communities, as well as offering drug and alcohol awareness seminars. She also facilitates training and coaching for women’s sweat lodge ceremonials. (Languages – English, French, Cree.)

Rattlechild Sundance Rattlechild Sundance 

About the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto:

The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto is a membership-based, charitable organization located in the heart of downtown Toronto in a beautifully renovated heritage building. Since 1962 the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto has been a key meeting place for all people, of all nations, from across Canada and all over the world. As Toronto’s oldest Indigenous community organization and one of the original Friendship Centres in Canada, the NCCT provides social, recreational, cultural and spiritual services for the Indigenous community and visitors alike.

2017 Barbara Laronde Award Recipient

Native Women in the Arts is thrilled to announce the winner of the third annual Barbara Laronde Award: Lucille Atlookan.

Lucille AtlookanLucille Atlookan 

Lucille Atlookan is an Anishnaabe emerging artist and university student from Eabametoong First Nation who resides in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Atlookan is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates work in a variety of media such as beadwork, sculpture, and illustration.

Atlookan is in her second year of the Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts Major) Bachelor of Education, a double degree program, at Lakehead University. Her goals are to become a professional practicing artist and Indigenous language instructor and to continue her involvement in arts education for Indigenous youth.

Atlookan was selected from a number of applications from across Northern Ontario. Robyn Shepherd for the NWIA Board of Directors remarked: “Firstly we want to acknowledge that all the candidates were excellent. From Atlookan’s application we got the sense of a deep commitment to herself and to her art, that of which is excellent. She has strong motivation to succeed in her chosen field and she will set a tremendous example for others who will see a path to follow.”

NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Lucille Atlookan with a $1500 award, which will be presented with Barbara Laronde in Temagami on July 16th at 1pm, during the Deepwater Music Festival on the waterfront main stage.

For more information please visit:

For My LoveFor My Love, Lucille Atlookan

About the Barbara Laronde Award

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous female artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many northern artists face.

Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award in 2015.

Trade ColonialismTrade Colonialism, Lucille Atlookan

About Deepwater Music Festival 

Hosted by the Temagami Artist Collective, the Deepwater Music Festival takes place this year July 15-16, 2017, at Temagami’s waterfront. This year’s lineup includes Wayne Potts, Duane Paul, John Shymko, Sam Depatie, Mimi O’Bonsawin Band, Esther Pennell, Eight Thunderbird Singers, David Laronde Band, and more. Festival wristbands include entry to the concurrent Temagami Canoe Festival.

For further information visit:

Self PortraitSelf Portrait, Lucille Atlookan

About Native Women in the Arts (NWIA)

Over 24 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also produce a series of community-driven artist talks, leadership and cultural workshops, youth arts projects to audiences interested in arts, culture, and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

For further information about NWIA visit or call 416-598-4078.

Tributaries: Luminato Opening Event


Native Women in the Arts partners with Luminato to open a four-part celebration of Indigenous performance featuring over 60 artists!

FREE and open to the public on June 14 in David Pecaut Square

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is excited to announce its collaborating partnership with Luminato to co present this year’s opening night celebrations.  Tributaries, conceived by Creative Producer Denise Bolduc with NWIA’s Erika Iserhoff as Associate Producer, pays homage and respect to Indigenous creativity, presence and voice in celebratory, large-scale experience in Toronto.  

Tributaries features over 60 artists who pay tribute to the resilience and power of Indigenous women, land and water.  Featured artists include Lila Downs, Tomson Highway, Northern Cree, Laura Grizzlypaws, Norma Araiza, Duke Redbird, Cris Derksen, Iskwe, Jennifer Kreisberg, Cheri Maracle, Tanya Tagaq, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Jeremy Dutcher, Melody McKiver, Bear Witness, Lido Pimienta and many more!  Tributaries is a free event and open event taking place on June 14 from 6PM to 11PM in David Pecaut Square (215 King Street West).

The evening also launches the opening of The Famous Spiegeltent at Luminato with Tributaries’ presentation of A Cree Cabaret, featuring the brilliance of Tomson Highway. From 7 p.m. onwards, David Pecaut Square will come alive as Tributaries moves outdoors with a diversity of performances in a four-part program: Roots, Resurgence, Reclamation, and Emancipation.


“We are truly grateful to be working in partnership with Denise Bolduc, artistic lead of Tributaries, and the Luminato Festival. The program reflects a stellar line up of Indigenous artists and creativity.  NWIA is thrilled to work in a capacity supporting creative partnerships and strengthening our organization within the larger industry and within an international festival context. Tributaries reflects NWIA’s vision to advance the interests, culture and art of Indigenous women working in the arts within Canada.” Erika A. Iserhoff, Associate Producer

“June is the month of the Ode’min Giizis (Strawberry Moon), and for many Indigenous people the strawberry/Ode’min represents the heart, and Indigenous women represent the hearts of our diverse nations. Sustaining the Ode’min’s growth is a vast system of leaves, runners and roots and this we parallel to the earth’s waterways and its vast water systems that sustain all life. These Tributaries also reflect our artists as the connecting roots resurging, evolving, reclaiming and liberating.  We invite you to experience a synergy of creative Indigenous expression and to join us in paying tribute to the resilience of Indigenous women and the importance of the land and its water.” Denise Bolduc, Creative Producer

In conceiving Tributaries, Denise and Erika have gone beyond anything I had imagined for the opening of Luminato. It has been an inspiration to witness the coming together of this event, the gathering of so many amazing artists and the profound depth of thought and cultural connectivity motivating and shaping the program. I invite everyone who wants to feel the power and vitality of Indigenous culture today to join us on June 14.”  Josephine Ridge, Artistic Director, Luminato


OPENING: A Cree Cabaret, 6 – 7 p.m.
FREE By reservation only as limited seating available. Click here for more information or to book a seat.

Tomson Highway is a world-renowned Cree playwright, composer, musician, novelist and language advocate.  His best-known works include the plays The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, The (Post) Mistress, and his best-selling novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen. This program features highlights of Highway’s musical canon performed by Highway on piano with vocalist Patricia Cano and Marcus Ali on saxophone. A Cree Cabaret is a lively, world-class cabaret and the opening show in The Famous Spiegeltent.

PART 1: Roots, 7 – 8 p.m.

“Tributaries branch, fork and feed into larger waters, and these water systems are the keepers of land knowledge as they interact with the environment. Tributaries’ mainstage program kicks off with its first tribute to the knowledge keepers in the ROOTS program.” Denise Bolduc

Alberta-based seven-time Grammy-nominated Northern Cree and recent winners of The Lifetime Achievement Award (Indigenous Music Awards, Manito Ahbee Festival, Winnipeg) launch the evening’s outdoor program. Considered the world’s premier Pow-Wow singing group and the undisputed ambassadors of Round Dance music, Northern Cree open the evening, welcoming audiences to join them in the centre of the square. Following their opening song, multidisciplinary artist, cultural intellectual, and celebrity, Dr. Duke Redbird, through spoken-word will present a new commissioned poem paying tribute to the land, and the traditional and territorial Nations.  

Continuing to inspire togetherness and goodwill, Northern Cree returns to the stage with their distinctive popular rhythms.  In this last half hour, Laura Grizzlypaws and Norma Araiza enter the square performing their rarely seen dance styles.  Grizzlypaws, of the St’át’imc Nation (BC) and Bear Clan, has a creative, metaphorical relationship of the spirit of the bear. Feeling his/her pleasure, pain, anger, hope and freedom, she dances the Bear Dance. Norma Araiza, Yoeme (Yaqui) (Mex), the feeling of freedom by honouring the natural world and the white tail deer through her presentation of the Yaqui Deer Dance, or La Danza del Venado.

PART 2: Resurgence, 8 – 9 p.m.

Part two of Tributaries programming, Red Tidal Resurgence reflects the emergence of voices representing the power and resilience of Indigenous women. Created specifically for Tributaries, this new production features solo vocal performances by Iskwe, Jennifer Kreisberg, Cheri Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Tanya Tagaq, supported by a seven-piece band and a nine-member choir led by operative tenor, Jeremy Dutcher. Musical Direction and arrangement is driven by the vision of cellist and composer, Cris Derksen. The song list directly links to the Tributaries themes and includes existing work by each solo artist, Jeremy Dutcher and Cris Derksen.

PART 3: Reclamation, 9 – 10 p.m.

One of the world’s most singular voices, Lila Downs (Mixteca) brings poignant storytelling that transcends all language barriers. Raised in Minnesota and Oaxaca, this global superstar’s exquisite artistry bridges traditions from across the Americas, with influences ranging from the folk and ranchera music of Mesicao and South America to North American folk, jazz, blues and hip-hop. As a passionate human-rights activist, Lila’s lyrics often highlight issues relating to social justice, sharing stories that too often go untold.  

PART 4: Emancipation, 10 – 11 p.m.

Tributaries culminates with a DJ-VJ “Call & Response” interaction across David Pecaut Square with Bear Witness (Cayuga) and Lido Pimienta (Afro-Columbian, Wayuu). These two dynamic artists will call on each other to express messages through music, visual imagery and vocals (Pimienta). Each artist will demonstrate their distinct style in response to Roots, Resurgence, Reclamation and Emancipation. Joining the stage are dance performers, Krystal RiverzSiez Swift, Briskool, John Hupfield and JayRobi.

Lido Pimienta (aka Soundsister) is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist who exists in a roulette of musical journeys from traditional Columbian percussion to darker avant-garde electronica soundscapes united by her explosive yet heart-warming voice. Bear Witness is a multimedia artist, DJ, filmmaker, producer and member of electro-rap DJ collective, A Tribe Called Red (ATCR), based in Ottawa. He remixes appropriated images and sound to claim visual sovereignty over Indigenous representation and imagined Indigenous futures.


  • Artwork for Tributaries is created by Haudenosaunee artist Monique Bedard (Aura):
  • Bimmadiziwing Tattoo Parlour: Red Pepper Spectacle Arts will offer the emblematic image of the Ode’min/Heartberry in the form of an airbrush tattoo. Free to attending public.   
  • Note: Ode’min Giizis (pronunced ‘o-DAY-min Gee-zis): meaning the Heart-berry Moon or Strawberry Moon
  • Luminato’s opening night is presented by Ontario150 and TD Bank Group.  


About Denise Bolduc – Tributaries Creative Producer

Denise Bolduc is an accomplished creative leader recognized for her significant contributions and involvement within a multitude of diverse arts disciplines locally, nationally and internationally. Notable projects: Beyond 150 Years:  An Acknowledgement of Indigenous Film (Vancouver, BC 2017), Miiyuu Pimaatswin (Native Women in the Arts, TO 2016), Songs in the Key of Cree (TO, 2015), Maadaadizi/Summer Journeys (Grand Finale, Pan Am Games Art Relay, TO, 2015), Thunderbird Marketplace (One of Kind Show, TO, 2014), and as the founding Artistic Director, Planet IndigenUS (2004). She is a sought after guest speaker/presenter, host and moderator, an instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, a consultant, and a mentor to numerous artists and arts leaders. Denise is a member of the Batchewana First Nation / Lake Superior Anishinaabeg.

About Erika A. Iserhoff – Tributaries Associate Producer

Erika A. Iserhoff is an multi-disciplinary artist of Omushkego/Eeyou Cree ancestry and is a member of Constance Lake First Nation. She is the current Artistic Producer for Native Women in the Arts, and is founding member of the Chocolate Woman Collective, and the Co-Artistic Director for the Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator. Erika works to collaborate with artists, communities, and reflect Indigenous cultural practices within her art and design work. She is a graduate from the OCADU with a degree in Material Arts & Design where she now teaches as a sessional professional within the Indigenous Visual Culture Program. She also has a Dora Award for Outstanding Costume Design for the play Agokwe by Waawaate Fobister (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 2008).

About Quach George – Tributaries Event Coordinator

Quach George is originally from Shawnee, Oklahoma with roots from the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and Mohawks of Akwesasne. Quach has worked as a producer, stage manager, event promoter, stylist and designer for various events nationally. Having previously worked with imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, as part of the events team and for the art exhibit Indian Giver exhibition (Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator Collective, 2016). She is a Aboriginal Cultural Ambassador with experience in educational programming and facilitation, visual and performance arts, as well as heritage interpretation. With a love for all things art related, Quach is committed to offering the Indigenous community with quality programs that offer a resurgence and preservation of Indigenous arts and culture.


Rick Banville – Co-Production Manager

Derek Bruce – Co-Production Manager

Meg Mackay – Event Associate  

Manny Sound – Event Associate

Luminato is Toronto’s international multi-arts, multi-platform festival dedicated to performance, visual art, music, theatre, dance, and programming that cuts across traditional art form boundaries. The 2017 festival runs June 14 to 25, launching Luminato’s second decade. In its first decade, Luminato became one of the preeminent international arts festivals in North America, having commissioned close to 100 new works of art, with more than 3,000 performances featuring 11,000 artists from over 40 countries. Curated by Artistic Director Josephine Ridge and led by CEO Anthony Sargent CBE, Luminato is a charitable, not-for-profit, globally connected cultural organization proudly based in Toronto. Download the Luminato 2017 Festival Guide: