Reframing Relations brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists together in schools, community settings, organizations, and corporations to facilitate workshops that build understanding around Indigeneity. This program is suitable for Indigenous, non-Indigenous, and mixed audiences. Participants work together on collaborative, arts-based ‘Statements of Understanding’ to discover where their awareness of Indigenous issues is located today, where they have gaps in their knowledge, and what concrete actions can be taken to support positive social transformation. Reframing Relations facilitators are experienced artists and educators who model allyship, vulnerability, and intercultural dialogue. Reframing Relations is about moving forward together.
Questions? Contact our Program Manager at email@example.com for more detailed information about the program. And, check out how our artist-facilitators describe our work in schools in the following video by 3 Crows Productions:
Ronnie Dean Harris, aka Ostwelve, Project Director, is a Stō:lo/St’át’imc/Nlaka’pamux multimedia artist based in Langley, BC. Since 2009, he has been leading workshops at various youth organizations on developing leadership skills, music production, media arts production, and career planning. As a hip hop performer, Harris has toured globally and performed with such artists as A Tribe Called Red, Drezus, Swollen Members, Guru, and Snoop Dogg. In 2010, Harris worked with “All Nations Healin’ Thru Artz” an after school program in North Regina. Lyrics to his song “Life Has No Sequel” was published in grade 9 textbook, i wonder. Harris played a lead character, Red, in “Moccasin Flats” on APTN showcase.
Mallory Amirault Born in Nova Scotia, Mallory Amirault is an Acadian Mi’kmaw artist whose ancestry belongs to the Gespugwi’tg district of Yarmouth, otherwise known as the lobster’s ass when referring to the shape of the province. Currently living as a guest on unceded Coast Salish territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ nations, her artistic practice engages with critical poetics and literary performance. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Discorder Magazine and editor for a collaborative artist book series, pensamientos en la frontera, with andi icaza-largaespada, and published with Erika Wilk at Moniker Press. She speaks her second and third language, but not her first, and is slowly learning Spanish.
Tawahum Bige, Łutselk’e Dene, Plains Cree, Two-Spirit, Nonbinary poet, Tawahum Bige resides on unceded Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish territory. Published in Red Rising, Prairie Fire, EVENT, and Poetry is Dead Magazines, Tawahum’s poetry makes vulnerable the process of growing, resisting and being a hopeless sadboy on occupied Turtle Island. They’ve performed on stages including Talking Stick Festival, Verses Festival of Spoken Word, and have completed the first ever Indigenous Spoken Word residency at the Banff Centre in 2018, with their BA in Creative Writing. They invite you to join them on this journey that is both emotionally personal and deeply political.
Kim Villagante also known as Kimmortal is an artist based on the ancestral unceded land of the Coast Salish people. As an artist of lines and rhymes, as well as an arts-based community organizer, Kim fuses her phenomenal artistic talents (as a visual-artist, singer-songwriter, rap-poet-lyricist, and actor) with her passion for social justice. Kim was awarded the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award in Community-Engaged arts in 2013, and is also the founder of “SHE”, an annual East-Vancouver event celebrating BIPOC women in the arts. She has toured her music in Toronto, California, and the Westcoast.
Johnny MacRae is a mouthy poet. He’s been both a regional and national poetry slam champion, and was named the Victoria Spoken Word Festival Poet of Honour in 2013. He’s toured widely across the country, performing at readings and slams, as well as poetry, theatre, and music festivals, and has offered over 250 workshops and performances in schools since 2010. MacRae also co-directs Hullabaloo, a celebration of BC youth spoken word, and WordPlay, the Vancouver Poetry House’s school outreach program.
Jillian Christmas Jillian Christmas lives on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people, where she served for six years as Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of Words. As an enthusiastic organizer and activist in the Canadian arts community, her focus has been to increase anti-oppression initiatives in spoken word. She has executed programs in partnership with Toronto Poetry Project, The Chan Centre, Vancouver Opera, and more. Jillian has performed and facilitated spoken word workshops for youth and adults across the country and beyond. Her forthcoming debut book of poetry will be released in Spring 2020 with Arsenal Pulp Press.
Will Weigler, a Settler Canadian, born and raised on the territory of the Multnomah peoples in Oregon. For the past 14 years Will has been a visitor on the unceded traditional territories of the Lekwungen speaking peoples (now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations). Will is a professional theatre director, playwright, producer, and storyteller, and has written five books on different approaches to co-creating theatre with people in communities about the issues that matter to them. Much of Will’s arts-based community engagement work is focused on peer education about the legacy and impact of colonialism and the importance of supporting Indigenous communities and cultural resurgence. Will has a PhD in Applied Theatre from the University of Victoria and is a graduate of the National Theatre Institute and Oberlin College in the US. See www.willweigler.com for more.
Johnny Trinh, CACV Program Manager, is a performer and poet who has experience in arts education, project coordination, and community engaged practice, as well as a recent MFA in the field. He came to us from Waterloo via Regina for school, but has been very busy since landing on the West Coast. Currently he works for North Vancouver Arts Council, as well as he Presentation House Theatre, for which he has been creating a daylong event with strong Indigenous connections.
- Roxanne Charles (bio coming)
- Andi Icaza-Largaespada (bio coming)
- Frankie McGee (bio coming)
This program has been developed with guidance from the Aboriginal Education Department of the Vancouver School Board, the Surrey School Board, and the Urban Native Youth Association. It has also received crucial support from the Surrey School District, BC Arts Council, the Telus Community Board, and VanCity. We extend sincere thanks to our funders, supporters, and partners.