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Santee Smith by David Hou | Image source: Kahawi Dance Theatre

From the canvas to the theatre, these outstanding institutions and organizations support Indigenous artists with education programs that foster creative and career development.

1. The Adam Beach Film Institute, Winnipeg, MB

The Adam Beach Film Institute’s (ABFI) mission is to provide resources and training to Aboriginal youth who are interested in pursuing a career within the film industry. The ABFI will be a workplace of inclusion and respect, with a main focus on the development of creativity and ideas.

2. The Banff Centre, Banff, AB

Informed by Indigenous cultures and world views, The Banff Centre has programs in all disciplines for emerging and established Indigenous artists. All programs are highly transformative and are inspired by ‘power of place’ in Treaty 7 territory. The Banff Centre programming includes performances, concerts, residencies, presentations, workshops, talks and exhibitions.

3. Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Toronto, ON

The Centre for Indigenous Theatre offers educational programs that promote and foster an understanding of Indigenous Theatre while providing the highest caliber arts training to Indigenous students from across Canada. The Centre for Indigenous Theatre offers a three-year, post-secondary conservatory program as well as an introductory summer intensive program.

4. Debajehmujig Storytellers, Wikwemikong, ON

Debajehmujig Storytellers is an Indigenous professional theatre group and non-profit organization program based on Manitoulin Island in the Odawa Ojibway community of Wikwemikong Unceeded Territory. The group is dedicated to the vitalization of the Anishinaabe culture, language and heritage through education and original creative expression with native and non-native people.

5. En’owkin Centre, Penticton, BC

En’owkin Centre is a First Nation Post-Secondary Institution located in Penticton, B.C. The National Aboriginal Professional Arts Training Program (NAPAT) protects and preserves Indigenous world-view and arts expressions in traditional heritage format that utilizes interdisciplinary works with contemporary practice. This includes storytelling, performance arts, painting, media arts, sculpture, and installation art.

Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre 6. Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre, Saskatoon, SK

Produces and presents innovative cultural theatre experiences that engage and empower First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth artists in the greater Saskatchewan community. GTNT offers the nehiyawak Summer Language Experience, arts fundraisers and various theatre programs for children and youth.

7. Indigenous Culture and Media Innovations, New Credit First Nation, ON & Ottawa, ON

Indigenous Culture and Media Innovations (ICMI) is an artist run multi arts organization based in New Credit First Nation near Hagersville and at a satellite office in Ottawa, Ontario. ICMI provides arts training, youth workshops and educational programming using hands-on experiential learning in up-to-date, cutting edge digital technologies.

8. Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking Diploma or Certificate at Capilano University, North Vancouver, BC

The main Capilano University campus in North Vancouver is striking in its uncommon beauty with lush forests, towering mountains and stunning plant life. The Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking (IIDF) program, formerly Aboriginal Film & TV Production Training program has been providing basic production training for Indigenous students since the spring of 2000.

9. Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCAD University, Toronto, ON

The Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC) program at OCAD University combines practice-specific and interdisciplinary studio-based learning, and courses in the visual, cultural, social and political history of Indigenous peoples. INVC program can be completed as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or an interdisciplinary minor.

10. Kahawi Dance Theatre, Toronto, ON

Explores the intersection of Indigenous and new dance performance to create and present theatrical productions, and to educate and engage artists, audiences and diverse communities through Indigenous performing arts encompassing disciplines of music, storytelling, theatre and design. KDT SUMMER INTENSIVE (SI) is a month-long training program that offers contemporary technique, world Indigenous dance forms, alternative physical training systems, and artistic dialogue for investigating new dance performance.

11. National Screen Institute New Voices Program, Winnipeg, MB

NSI New Voices is a culturally-sensitive training course that exposes young Indigenous people aged 18-35 to a variety of creative and challenging employment opportunities in the film and television industry.

12. Raven Spirit Dance, Vancouver, BC

This organization seeks to create a space for Indigenous artists to make work, practice, and flourish. Raven Spirit is open to the widest manifestations of art making, but argues for practice that is culturally distinct and valuable.

Fishscale Art Workshop with Brenda Lee13. Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator, Toronto, ON

Setsuné (set-soon-eh) means grandmother in the Dene language and we use it to acknowledge intergenerational crossovers, blood memory and oral histories expressed through fashion and the arts. The Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator fosters the creation and exhibition of new works by Indigenous artists working in traditional and contemporary fashion, textiles and wearable art.

14. Weengushk Film Institute, Manitoulin Island, ON

Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) is is a non-profit, artist-focused film and television-training centre located on beautiful Manitoulin Island. WFI is dedicated to unlocking creative potential of Indigenous youth and persons of diversity and developing market leading skills and experiences among its participants. WFI offers an 8-month short film introductory program accredited by Brock University as well as a 2-week summer film camp for youth ages 7-17.

Other Resources:

Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance is a multifaceted organization with geographically and artistically diverse Indigenous performing artists, arts organizations and allies. Indigenous people and allies can become an IPAA member and gain access to arts resources, community events listings and networks.


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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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