Our Final Event in the Kwe Performance Series: Jennifer Kreisberg with Guest Artist, March 30 – 31


Join us Friday, March 31, for renowned Tuscarora singer Jennifer Kreisberg.

Jennifer will be accompanied by Derek Miller & Cheri Maracle and the evening will include guest artists Kristi Lane Sinclair and the Hidden River Singers. This concert is part of our final Kwe Performance Series events for the season, and please note that the previously announced performance with Ulali Project has been rescheduled to Fall 2017 .

Performance: Friday, March 31, 8:00pm

Venue: The Conversation Room, The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St W. Toronto

Tickets: Adults $20.00/Elders, Students, Underemployed & Art Workers $10.00

On March 30, at the University of Toronto, Jennifer will present a free workshop at the Faculty of Music with discussions about traditional and modern Tuscarora life. She will perform and discuss hand drum songs, invite participants to join in, and answer questions.

Free Workshop: Thursday, March 30, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Venue: Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Edward Johnson Building – Room 330, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent Toronto

For more info:

Join the Facebook Event Page:

Artist Bios:

Jennifer Kreisberg

Mother, Singer, Composer, Producer, Teacher, and Activist: Jennifer Kreisberg (Tuscarora, North Carolina) comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through the maternal line and has been singing since she was young. She is known for her fierce vocals and soaring range. Her lilting, breath-taking harmonies will delight your ears.

Jennifer has been singing with the critically acclaimed Native women’s trio Ulali since she was seventeen. Her voice has perfectly woven the high strand of Ulali’s renowned harmony with incomparable skill, and grace for over seventeen years, helping to create a new sound in Indian Country. Adding to the group, her sharp wit and stage presence infused Ulali’s shows with strong vocals, humor and camaraderie with the audience.

Jennifer was a Master Teaching Artist for the State of Connecticut Commission on the Arts for over four years. She is frequently called upon to guest lecture and conduct vocal workshops at universities, schools, Native communities and at festivals throughout the United States and Canada. She has done background vocals for various groups and voice-overs for commercials some of which feature her own compositions and highlight her production skills.

Derek Miller

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Derek Miller is a journeyman musician with eclectic taste and a knack for blues-inflected roots rock. Born on the Six Nations of the Grand River, Mohawk Territory, in Canada in 1974, Miller became interested in music in his early teens, and by the late ’90s had not only toured with iconic Canadian vocalist Buffy Sainte-Marie, but had also won a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award. In 2000 he performed on and co-produced Keith Secola & the Wild Band’s album Fingermonkey. Then, in 2002 he released his debut album, Music Is the Medicine, for which he garnered a Juno Award. Extensive touring followed his debut success, and by 2005 Miller found himself exhausted and struggling with drug and alcohol dependency. Subsequently, he entered rehab and spent the next year or so working to regain his physical, mental, and spiritual health. In 2007 he released his sophomore effort, The Dirty Looks.

Cheri Maracle

Cheri Maracle is a multi- award nominated Singer and Actress from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario. Cheri has been performing in Canada, the U.S. and Europe in the last 20 years, and has extensive music, theatre, television & film credits to her name. Cheri’s early music influences began in Women’s traditional hand drum group Tiyoweh. She then penned two original music albums, Closer To Home (2006), and If I Am Water (2013), to critical acclaim.

Kirsti Lane Sinclair

Fierce and feisty, Haida/Cree singer-songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair is emblematic of a new wave of Canadian indigenous artists who are turning perceptions upside down. Raised in British Columbia’s backwaters, and drawing more from a DIY/indie aesthetic than traditional or mainstream music, Sinclair’s musical roots create a darkly intoxicating mix of grunge, folk and classical. Her smoky folk is rich and orchestral, underpinned with alternately snarling guitars and warm strings. Watch her six-part documentary series airing on APTN, Face the Music follows Kristi’s journey as she releases and tours her latest album.  Her latest “sonic acoustic” and forth album, The Ability to Judge Distance, will see a summer 2017 release.

Hidden River Singers

Michelle St. John, Rose Stella and Shandra Spears from the Hidden River Singers are some of Toronto’s best and most innovative Indigenous women singers, songwriters, actors and arts activists. They first came together during the Idle No More protests and sang to honour the life and memory of the late Misty Upham for imagineNATIVE film and media art festival 2014. They opened the “Strong Women, Strong Voices” event at the Aboriginal Pavilion during the Pan Am Games, and performed at “Maadaaizi Summer Journeys.”  They have been featured at book launches for Charlie Angus, Leanne Simpson and Pam Palmater, and have performed at opening ceremonies for a number of special women’s events.  Most recently, Hidden River Singers recently performed as part of the “Honouring our Families” event for the Toronto Central Regional Cancer Program.

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.

Miigwetch to all who made it out to the sold out performance for the Inuit Showcase at the Music Gallery with Kathleen Ivaluarjuk Merritt, Taqralik Partridge, and Nukariik! And to our second event in partnership with the Feminist Art Conference (FAC) at OCAD University, Sadie Buck and the Hey He Yays!

Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings: A new series

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings: A new series starting with a hand drum making workshop on March 5, 2017.

The Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings will connect cultural leaders to the Indigenous community in Toronto and will strengthen, empower, and support our community members through monthly lectures, discussions, and workshops. As an Indigenous arts and cultural organization, we are dedicated to supporting our community by offering programming that is rich in cultural content and that contributes to the process of reclaiming culture.

In the Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings, we will present leaders who can 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. These discussions will be through teachings within an Indigenous context, and based on each leader’s own distinct nation and culture.  Ka’nikonhrí:yo means to have a good mind in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk).

We are pleased to present the first three speakers in the series:

  • Hand Drum Making with Clayton Samuel King, March 2017
  • Wampum and Treaties with Alan Corbiere, April 2017
  • Under the Husk Film and Rights of Passage with Katsitsionni Fox, May 2017

Clayton Samuel King “Waab-Shki-Makoons” will present a hand drum making workshop at the Centre for Social Innovation, with discussions about traditional and modern Anishinaabe life. He will guide each participant as they create their own hand drum,discuss Anishinaabe teachings sounding the drum, and answer questions.

Workshop: Sunday, March 5, 12-5pm
Centre for Social Innovation, 4th Floor – Innovation Lab, 215 Spadina Ave, Toronto
For more info:

Clayton Samuel King “Waab-Shki-Makoons” is a professional artist who graduated in April 2010 with a Fine Art Advanced Diploma from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. Clayton has painted predominantly with acrylics, but works with other mediums like photography, sculpture, graphite, traditional First Nation’s crafts, and he also performs as a Northern Traditional Pow Wow Dancer. He has displayed his art in four solo exhibitions and 22 selected group exhibitions since his studies. Clayton contributes in the education sector in Simcoe County by doing First Nations painting and cultural interpretive workshops that help bridge an understanding of First Nations art and history to native and non-native students alike. Born and raised in St.Catharines, Ontario, Clayton has been a resident of Barrie, Ontario, since the fall of 2011. He has also run his business White Bear Art since that time as well. Clayton Samuel King is of Potawatomi descent and is a member of Beausoleil First Nation.


Join us for Women’s Hand Drumming with Veronica Johnny in partnership Red Pepper Spectacle Arts


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, and participants are encouraged to share their knowledge. These sessions aim to respect a diversity of teachings and beliefs, and all participants are asked to attend with this intention in mind.

Current Dates:
Tuesday, January 17th & 31st
Tuesday, February 14th & 28th
Tuesday, March 14th & 28th

Please register by sending an email to:

Veronica Johnny (Cree/Dene/Two-Spirit) is a traditional & contemporary Aboriginal hand-drummer from Fort Smith, NWT. She 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

These sessions are open to all female-identified and non-binary individuals. Please note that you must provide your own hand-drum or shaker to participate.

Sessions are 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.

A light snack and refreshments will be provided. Children are always welcome. Please note that childcare is not provided.


Call for Nominations for the 2017 Annual Barbara Laronde Award – Due May 1!


Call for Nominations: This call for nominations is open to self-identified Indigenous female emerging artists living in Northern Ontario.

Please note that you can self nominate or an individual can nominate an artist to receive this award. Eligibility:

  • To be considered for an award the artist must be an Indigenous woman living in Northern Ontario (open to Métis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status peoples)
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Open to all artistic disciplines including traditional/customary arts
  • All Indigenous female artists are encouraged to apply.
  • Individuals can submit an application to nominate an artist they feel deserves this award.

To apply please submit the following:

  • One-page letter outlining why you or the artist should receive this award
  • Submit images/audio/written/video support material of artwork to support the application
  • A full length bio and resume
  • If you are submitting on behalf of yourself please include a letter of support from someone who is familiar with your career in the arts

Application Deadline: Monday May 1, 2017 / Email to:

Value of Award: $1500

Definition of an emerging artist is:

  • One who has some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment
  • Not recognized as established artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, and arts administrators.
  • Artists who show significant potential, yet are under-recognized

Our second Kwe Performance Series event: Sadie Buck, January 20-21

Following the first sold-out event of our Kwe Performance Series in November, 2016, Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the second showcase in the series Sadie Buck with the Hey He Yays.

Join us Saturday January 21, as we partner with the Feminist Art Conference (FAC) to present renowned Haudenosaunee singer Sadie Buck with guests artists the Hey He Yays, followed by a Q&A with Sadie and NWIA’s Artist Producer Erika Iserhoff.

Performance: Saturday, January 21, 6:30pm
Auditorium – Room 230 at OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
PWYC (or included in FAC conference registration)

Join the Facebook event!

On January 20, at Sadie will present a free workshop at Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto with discussions about traditional and modern Haudenosaunee life. She will perform and discuss Haudenosaunee singing and songs, invite participants to join in, and answer questions.

Free Workshop: Friday, January 20, 2pm – 4pm
Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, 191 Gerrard St E, Toronto
For more info:

Artist Bio:

Sadie Buck was born into a long line of traditional singers and dancers. Her life as a traditional singer has honed her training and performance skill to a master level. Sadie has taken her traditional training ideology and transposed that to her contemporary life as an artist, performer, facilitator, director, author, trainer, researcher and consultant. Sadie is also the lead singer of the Six Nations Women Singers, one of the most influential female Native singing groups. They have recorded with Robbie Robertson and performed at the Presidential inauguration in 1997. Representing the Onkwehonwe people, she is from the Seneca nation of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and Tonawanda Seneca. Currently a part-time instructor at UWO and sessional instructor at McMaster University, she has also taught at Harvard University, Hamilton College, University of Toronto and at the National Aboriginal and Islanders Skills Development Corporation in Australia. Sadie Buck established and ran the Aboriginal Women’s Music Program at the Banff Centre for three years where she organized and co-led the JUNO nominated recording, “Hearts of the Nations”. The success of this program brought together Aboriginal women from all over the world to collaborate together, sing and perform. Sadie also wrote and co-directed the celebrated Aboriginal dance opera “Bones”. Honoured for her significant contributions to Ontario’s folk music community, Sadie was the recipient of the Estelle Klein Award in 2015.

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.

About Feminist Art Conference:

This year is the Feminist Art Conference’s 4th conference to be held at OCADU from January 9 – 21, 2017. This includes a two-week multi-disciplinary exhibition in the Great Hall at OCADU and satellite exhibitions at York University and University of Toronto.

About the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto:

The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto began when a dedicated group of Aboriginal women recognized the need for a gathering place in Toronto where Aboriginal women could share resources, support one another, and practice their traditional ways. Today, NWRCT provides a safe and welcoming environment for all Aboriginal women and their children in the Greater Toronto Area.

All the events of our Kwe Performance Series Inuit Showcase

ᐊᐃ : The first event of our new Kwe Performance Series is in fact a number of events! Check out our workshops and performances with spoken word artist Taqralik Partridge, throat singer, poet, and songwriter Kathleen Ivaluarjuk Merritt (aka IVA), and sisters and throat singing duo Nukariik. This list is updated as of October 24:

Thursday November 3 – Spoken word, writing workshop and performance by Taqralik Partridge  In partnership with the Kinomaagaye Gaamik Lodge, 6:30-9:30pm, 674 New Credit Road, Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation, Ontario. Free! Join the Facebook event.

Thursday November 3 – Throat singing workshop with Nukariik – A co-presentation with The Toronto Music Gallery,  6:30-8:30pm,197 John Street, Toronto. Free! But registration is limited. Please sign up in advance here.

Friday November 4 – Throat singing workshop with IVA & Agaaqtoq – In partnership Native Women’s Resource Centre, 2-4pm, 191 Gerrard Street East, Toronto. Free! For more information contact:

Friday November 4 – Spoken word & writing workshop with Taqralik Partridge – In partnership with Toronto’s Inuit youth community group Torontomiutajugut, 7-9pm, 180 Shaw Street, Centre for Indigenous Theatre – Studio 209 (2nd Floor), Toronto, Free! For more information contact:

Saturday November 5 – Inuit Showcase: IVA, Taqralik Partridge, and Nukariik – A co-presentation with The Toronto Music Gallery
Doors 7pm, Show 8pm, 197 John Street, Toronto, Tickets $20 Regular | $10 Members/Students |$15 Advance.

Kathleen Ivaluarjuk Merritt also known as IVA (ee-vah) will take you on a journey through the Arctic with vocal interpretations of the wind, birds, landscape and sea. Iva is a throat-singer, poet, writer and collaborator from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. She has performed alongside Tanya Tagaq, Susan Aglukark, Owen Pallett, DJ Spooky, Mike Stevens and the NAC Orchestra among others.

Taqralik Partridge is a spoken word performer, throat singer, voice actor and writer originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik in Northern Quebec. She has performed on stages from Toronto to Iqaluit to the UK and Norway. She teaches poetry and story-telling workshops for children and adults, and she loves to sew.

Nukariik is a group of two sisters, Karin and Kathy Kettler, who work together to preserve and share Inuit culture from Canada. Their heritage is from Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik. While the members of Nukariik have lived most of their lives in southern Canada, they have developed a strong connection to their heritage and culture through their Inuit friends, Elders and family.

Announcing Our New Kwe Performance Series

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the Kwe Performance Series, starting with the Inuit Showcase in November, 2016.

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 will present performances and workshops by performing artists from diverse nations and communities. The events will always take place both in Toronto and in varying on-reserve and under-serviced communities in the arts in Ontario.

For our first season, we’re thrilled to present three parts in the series:

Inuit Showcase: Kathleen Ivaluarjuk Merritt, Taqralik Partridge, and Nukariik, November 2016
Sadie Buck, January 2017
The Ulali Project, March 2017


In collaboration with the Music Gallery
Saturday November 5, 8pm
197 John Street, Toronto
Buy tickets here.
Join the Facebook event.

Also at the Music Gallery:
Thursday November 3, 6:30pm
Throat singing workshop with Nukariik. Free!
Register here.

Tuesday November 1
Taqralik Partridge – workshop and performance at Kinomaagaye Gaamik Lodge, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Ontario

Additional Toronto workshops with Kathleen and Taqralik to be announced. Stay tuned!


In partnership with the Feminist Art Conference (FAC), we will present renowned traditional and contemporary Haudenosaunee singer Sadie Buck for both a Q&A and performance.

Saturday, January 21, 6:30pm
PWYC (or included in FAC conference registration)
Auditorium at OCAD University, Toronto

ulali-project-idle-no-moreTHE ULALI PROJECT

The current evolution of the legendary acapella group Ulali, with founding members Pura Fé and Jennifer Kreisberg, and new additions Charly Lowry and Layla Locklear.

Friday March 31, 8pm
In partnership with St. Anne’s Anglican Church
270 Gladstone Ave, Toronto

Toronto workshops and community workshops and performances to be added and announced in the new year.


The warmth and joy of the Miiyuu Pimaatswiin symposium

This past June, we presented Miiyuu Pimaatswin: A Symposium for Indigenous Women Arts LeadersThe sold out event brought emerging to established Indigenous women artists, producers, programmers, artistic leaders, arts administrators, arts advocates, and arts practitioners together to share knowledge and experiences.

We are grateful to each of the participants, presenters, sponsors, partners, and funders who made the symposium a success.

Nourishing. The symposium was a beautiful recipe that included a magical synchronicity of wonderful spirits, talents and gifts mixed in with lots of love and laughs, tears and hugs, and tasty surprises!

Alex Hildebrand captured a few beautiful moments from the three days.

I feel grateful for the opportunity to listen to the strong female leaders/elders who shared their wisdom, courage, honesty, truth and love

Check out Facebook for even more photos!

Seeking new board members at NWIA!

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is seeking dynamic supportive individuals invested in advancing Indigenous arts for our existing inclusive and strong Board of Directors.


Established in 1993, NWIA is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women from diverse artistic disciplines who share a common interest in culture, art, community and the advancement of Indigenous peoples. NWIA produces unique artistic programming while developing, supporting, and cultivating Aboriginal women in the performing arts, literary arts and publishing, visual arts, and community development projects. NWIA’s influence has been felt in Indigenous, culturally diverse and mainstream communities across Canada for 23 years.


We are seeking individuals who are available to meet a minimum of four times per year in downtown Toronto, to volunteer at concerts and events, serve on a minimum of one sub-committee, and check-in with board and staff on a regular basis. We are in need of people who will advance areas such as fundraising and sponsorship, financial management, policy development, marketing and programming.

We are looking to add two new members to our Board of Directors and welcome people of all backgrounds, though we aim to include a majority of Indigenous women. We welcome Indigenous women, youth, two-spirit, and allied individuals, from emerging to established in their field.

Participation on the Board is voluntary and there is no remuneration for service.

Please submit your letter of interest and CV to by 5pm September 20 and visit for more information about our organization.

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is seeking sponsorship partners

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is seeking sponsorship partners for our new Kwe Performance Series. We have the exciting opportunity for matching funds through the artsVest program and are looking for the right partner(s) to reach our goal of $1500. (Or more!) Sponsors need to confirm contributions by August 31, 2016.

The Kwe Performance Series 2016-17 is a three part performance series that takes place in Toronto and in Ontario First Nations communities (in the past we have presented in Nippising and Pikwakanagan). This November, the series kicks off with an Inuit artist showcase at The Music Gallery (with performers Ivaluarjuk, Nukariik, and Taqralik Partridge), in January we are presenting Haudenosaunee elder and singer Sadie Buck (legendary!), and in March we are bringing the groundbreaking trio Ulali.

To be eligible for artsVest matching, sponsorship partners need to be for profit organisations. As a small non-profit arts org, we do big things within the Indigenous arts community, and increasingly – thanks to our presenting partners like The Music Gallery – into Toronto’s mainstream audiences. This partnership is an opportunity for exposure to a dedicated audience of women, Indigenous artist and supporters, and a broader reach of the city’s art-loving audiences.

We’d love to talk with you further about it. Please email our Artistic Producer Erika Iserhoff at

Chi miigwetch.