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This Land, Ontario

This Land, Ontario

The Aboriginal Curatorial Collective in partnership with OCAD University, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance and Muskrat Magazine are holding a regional round table and panel discussions as part of their “This Land, Ontario” project. With presentations by Susan Blight, Sage Paul and the ACC-CCA recently hired Executive Director, Clayton Windatt including a community forum to explore our collective futures.


ROOM 284, 100 MCCAUL ST.
Sunday, October 23rd, (1pm – 5pm)
Light refreshments and snacks provided.

12:30 -1pm Introductions and Opening remarks

1pm – 1:30pm Sage Paul
1:30pm – 2pm Susan Blight
Presentations by each artist on practice, futures and engagement.

2pm – 2:15pm Health break
Coffee and cookies provided.

2:20pm – 3:45pm Community Forum led by Clayton Windatt

  • What are the current areas being explored by Indigenous Artists within Toronto?
  • What boundaries are in place holding back Indigenous arts success?
  • Are there opportunities in Toronto that are different than other areas of Canada?
  • What does everyone want to see change?
  • What role can the ACC-CCA play in supporting change in Toronto?


ACC-CCA has recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary and reflected on our past projects. As a collective representing Indigenous curators and artist/curators from across North America, we represents many art forms through our membership and mandate. Curators are not bound to the institutionalized role of wall-hanging visual arts and often roam freely through methods of engagement bringing visual, media, performance, craft, dance and writing together. ACC-CCA as a group engages through collaborative thinking and celebrates ceremony as a manner of organizational practice. Although we are a curator-focused organization, we are also a multi-arts institution as our members reflect activities of the full Inter-arts and multi-arts spectrum. The construct of “Curator” is a predominantly “Visual Arts” term but the ACC-CCA is considered a multi-arts organization as our exhibitions, events, colloquium and festivals all produced through an Indigenous world view represent all forms of artistic expression rarely remaining within one genre.


As part of the ACC-CCA mandate to support, promote and advocate on behalf of Indigenous curators, critics, artists and cultural representatives, the ACC-CCA is seeking insight from its members, supporters and the greater arts community to help us understand the needs, concerns, and ambitions of the Indigenous arts community. This work is ongoing, but begins 2016 – 2017 in Ontario with our project “This Land, Ontario”, a series of regionally focused gatherings. These gatherings will include a combination of discussion forums or talking circles, as well as presentations of current arts practices from regional artists/curators. Participants are asked to share, discuss and reflect on both community-engaged and curatorial-based multi-arts practices, contributing to the ACC-CCA’s understanding of professional arts practices and current trends in the Indigenous arts scene nation-wide. The insights gained will then be used to help guide the ACC-CCA’s future activities.


“This Land, Ontario” The land speaks through us and we honour the voice that it gives. Turtle Island provides for us and in return we must always reflect back. We reflect on the territories of our people and the borders that are enforced by governments. We reflect on the treaty rights of Ontario and how they influence our arts practices. What resistance is taking place and where can solidarity be found? Which communities are taking on new developments and what changing roles are communities playing? Are the large institutions of Ontario opening their doors to us? Where has ground been gained and on whose terms has access been granted? What is on the horizon? What are the next steps for Ontario and its Indigenous residents?


Susan Blight is Anishinaabe from Couchiching First Nation. A visual artist, filmmaker, and arts educator, Susan’s films and video work have been screened at such venues as Media City International Film Festival, Experiments in Cinema, and the ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival. Her most recent short film, Misaabe, was included in the 2015 ImagineNATIVE Film and Video National Tour. In addition, Susan has exhibited at Gallery 44, The Print Studio, Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts, and the Art Gallery of Windsor. Susan is cofounder of The Ogimaa Mikana Project, an artist/activist collective working to reclaim and rename the roads, streets, and landmarks of Anishinaabe territory with Anishinaabemowin and in 2013, she became the fourth member of the Indigenous Routes artist collective which works to provide new media training for Indigenous youth. Her writing—focused on Anishinaabeg resurgence, Indigenous resistance, and antioppression— has been published in Shameless Magazine, the Humber Literary Review, Muskrat Magazine, and on the Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society blog. Susan Blight received a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor in Integrated Media, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba. She is a Presidential Appointee to the Hart House Board of Stewards, cochair of the CoCurricular Education Subcommittee of the University of Toronto’s Truth and Reconciliation Steering Committee, organizes the annual Indigenous Education Week at the UofT, and is the recipient of a 2014 IDERD award for her antiracism work.


Sage Paul loves beauty.  Her work reflects family, cultural experiences and resisting commodification or commercialism through fashion, wearable art and mixed-materials. She most recently was a curatorial leader and exhibiting artist of Indian Giver: Truth Telling and Narratives of Representation (2016), which received immense response including feature articles in The FADER, The Toronto Star and CBC Arts. She was also a speaker for the Walrus Magazine’s Walrus Talk Series: “What is Art, Anyway?” and Ryerson University’s panel discussion about cultural appropriation “Aware – Are We?”. Sage’s works have exhibited at The Woodland Cultural Centre (2014), The Royal Ontario Museum (2013), the Harbourfront Centre (2012) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (2010). She has also completed three fashion collections and designed wardrobe for film and theatre including collaborations with Danis Goulet, Kent Monkman and a Centre for Indigenous Theatre production directed by Herbie Barnes. Sage is the co-founder of Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator and maintains her own practice.


ACC-CCA would like to proudly acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council through their Multi and Inter Arts Projects program.

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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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