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Symposium 2007


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Symposium 2007 E-Mail This Page Print Version
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Invited Speakers

Stephen J. Augustine Hereditary Chief on the Mi'kmaq Grand Council,
Curator of Ethnology for Eastern Maritimes, in the Ethnology Services, Division of the Canadian Museum of Civilization , Gatineau, Quebec
Mariano Aupilardjuk Inuit Elder from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
Miriam Clavir Research Associate, University of British Columbia (UBC) Museum of Anthropology
Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate Program in Museology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Charles Costain Associate Director General and Director of Conservation and Scientific Services, Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, Ontario
Peter Decontie Algonquin Elder, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (near Maniwaki), Quebec
Sherry Farrell Racette Professor, Art History Department, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
Tom Hill Museum Director Emeritus, Woodlands Cultural Centre
Raoul McKay Executive Producer, First Voice Multimedia Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba
Gerald McMaster Curator of Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Brantford, Ontario,Toronto, Ontario
John Moses Conservator, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, Quebec
Winnie Niviuvaarjuk Owingayak Inuit Elder; Manager, Baker Lake Inuit Heritage Centre, Baker Lake, Nunavut
Gilbert W. Whiteduck Senior Education Advisor for the First Nations Education Council, Maniwaki, Québec

Biographies of Invited Speakers

Stephen J. Augustine

Stephen J. Augustine
Hereditary Chief on the Mi'kmaq Grand Council,
Curator of Ethnology for Eastern Maritimes, in the Ethnology Services, Division of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, Quebec

Stephen Augustine obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Political Science from St. Thomas University (New Brunswick) in 1986, and also holds a Master of Arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario) focussing on traditional knowledge curriculum development in the context of the education system. Over the years, he has shared his expertise in research and traditional knowledge with many organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations, government departments, and various Aboriginal communities across Canada. Mr. Augustine is part of an advisory panel on biodiversity issues and has worked extensively with the United Nations programs on development and the environment. He has given presentations in numerous schools and universities, has been teaching a sessional course at Carleton University for the last 3 years, and has been an invited guest speaker at numerous national and international conferences. He has published papers and made various culturally relevant videos on health and healing issues, traditional knowledge, treaties, and storytelling. He has organized cross-cultural workshops for a wide variety of agencies (the United Nations as well as federal and provincial universities and museums). His recent book, Mi'kmaq & Maliseet Cultural Ancestral Material (Mercury Series, CMC, 2005), promises to be a valuable resource for academic researchers and educators alike. Recently, he has been accredited as an expert witness in various court cases involving Aboriginal access to resources in the Maritimes, being recognized for his knowledge both of oral history and ethno-history, and of the treaties in the region. In his role as a Hereditary Chief on the Mi'kmaq Grand Council, and by Elders' training since an early age, Stephen J. Augustine has a thorough command of traditional practices, his language, and the history of his people.


Mariano Aupilardjuk
Inuit Elder from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut

Mariano Aupilardjuk is a respected Elder living in Rankin Inlet, a community that hugs Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada. He was born in 1923 in Avaliqquarjuk, near Kugaaruk (formerly known as Pelly Bay), to a nomadic family, whereby he was taught precious traditional knowledge such as survival skills, toolmaking, and the respect of all living creatures. A year after his birth, his family moved to Nauyaat, where, as many other Inuit families of the time, they experienced the clash of two cultures and pressure from Church and society to leave their old way of life and cultural beliefs behind. His baptism at age 11 was a dramatic change, as he and his close ones pushed aside their ancient beliefs and let go of their own cultural ways, taking in the spiritual loss in order to live a Christian way of life. As he matured, however, Mr. Aupilardjuk realized that he should have never dropped his traditional values and beliefs, but rather that he and his people can live both worlds without having to let go of everything they once lived by and survived by, and he soon started to talk about this to family, friends and young people in order for the Inuit to regain their true identity and live a more dignified life with pride. He gave talks and presentations widely, at local elementary and secondary schools, at the Arctic College and across Canada, and became widely recognized by the Inuit for his wisdom, his teachings, and his healing abilities. Aupilardjuk’s commitment to sharing Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit — Inuit traditional knowledge — is total and it is complete. “Mr. Aupilardjuk speaks of values and the use of traditional knowledge in a way that links the past, the present and the future of Inuit people in Nunavut,” says without hesitation Paul Kaladjak, former President of the Kivalliq Inuit Association and currently President of Nunavut Tunggavit Inc. “Throughout his life, he has counseled and advised many people, from local community residents to high-profile politicians on how to best utilize those teachings of traditional ways into how they could be used in modern society.” He teaches youth traditional Inuit land skills, advises the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, speaks frankly to Government of Nunavut ministers and civil servants, and facilitates community and pan-territorial healing services. He has participated in many Nunavut oral history projects and has helped ensure his people’s story-telling tradition will go on forever. He has received numerous awards, plaques and certificates honoring him as a teacher and facilitator and as well his contribution in the preservation of the Inuktitut language. These include the Government of the Northwest Territories Facilitator for Youth and Elders Award in 1998, the Canadian government’s National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2001 for his teaching of traditional ways and skills, and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (national Inuit organization of Canada) Award in 2004.


Miriam Clavir
Research Associate, University of British Columbia (UBC) Museum of Anthropology
Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate Program in Museology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Miriam Clavir received a Master of Art Conservation from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) in 1976, and a Doctorate from the University of Leicester, Department of Museum Studies, in 1998. She has worked in conservation at the Royal Ontario Museum and at Parks Canada, and from 1980 to 2004 she was the Conservator and then Senior Conservator at the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. Throughout this time she was involved with the changing relationship between Aboriginal peoples and museums. In addition, she taught courses in Introductory Conservation and in Museum Studies for the UBC Department of Anthropology. She continues to teach at Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, and to work with Aboriginal communities, most recently in Quebec. She has examined museum conservation values and practices in articles in professional journals and as well in her book Preserving What is Valued: Museums, Conservation and First Nations (UBC Press), published in 2002.


Charles Costain
Associate Director General and Director of Conservation and Scientific Services, Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, Ontario

Charles Costain graduated from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) in 1976 with a Master of Science in Chemistry, taken in association with a Master of Art Conservation. Following graduation he worked in the analytical chemistry lab at Parks Canada Conservation Division until 1984, at which time he joined the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI). At CCI he worked in the analytical chemistry lab carrying out research into the materials used in works of art, and then managed a team in the area of preventive conservation before becoming a director in 1998. He has been on the Council of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) since 2000, and was Chairperson of the ICCROM Council from 2002 to 2005.


Peter Decontie

Peter Decontie
Algonquin Elder, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (near Maniwaki), Quebec

Elder Peter Decontie is Algonquin. He was born and raised in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community, near Maniwaki, Quebec, and worked with a number of different construction companies in Canada and the United States until his retirement in 2002. Elder Decontie has worked with spiritual Elders in Kitigan Zibi throughout his adult life, contributing to many aspects of the community’s life. Since the late 1960s he has worked closely with spiritual Elder William Commanda, for whom he is currently the Sacred Fire Keeper.


Sherry Farrell Racette
Professor, Art History Department, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette is an interdisciplinary scholar with an active arts practice. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg), a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Regina (Saskatchewan), and an Interdisciplinary Doctorate (Native Studies, Anthropology, History) from the University of Manitoba (2004). Her dissertation, Sewing Ourselves Together: Clothing, Decorative Arts and the Expression of Métis and Half Breed Identity, received the Distinguished Dissertation Award from the University of Manitoba in 2005. Her broad research focus is Metis and First Nations women's history, particularly reconstructing indigenous art histories that recontextualize museum collections and reclaim women's voices and lives. Her publications include: "Sewing for a Living: The Commodification of Métis Women's Artistic Production" in Contact Zones: Aboriginal and Settler Women in Canada's Colonial Past (2005); "Métis Man or Canadian Icon: Who Owns Louis Riel" in Rielisms (2001); "Beads, Silk and Quills: The Clothing and Decorative Arts of the Métis" in Metis Legacy (2001); and "Sex, Fear, Women, Travel and Work: Five Persistent Triggers of Eurocentric Negativity" in Pushing the Margins (2001). In addition, she has illustrated children's books written by Maria Campbell, Freda Ahnenakew, and Ruby Slipperjack. Her arts practice includes painting and multimedia works combining textiles, beadwork, and embroidery with images and text. Recent exhibitions include Dolls for Big Girls (2000), Regina Art Gallery; Illustrative Images: Sherry Farrell Racette (2002), Mackenzie Art Gallery; and group exhibitions: Rielisms (2001), Winnipeg Art Gallery and Animate Objects: The Grammar of Craft in First Nations Contemporary Art (2002), Sakewewak Artists' Collective. Her works are in a number of public collections including the Saskatchewan Arts Board, MacKenzie Art Gallery, and the Canada Council's Art Bank. Most recently she co-curated Clearing a Path: An Exhibition of Traditional Indigenous Arts for the Saskatchewan Arts Board showcasing contemporary artists working in traditional media for the 2005 Saskatchewan Centennial.


Tom Hill
Museum Director Emeritus, Woodlands Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario

Tom Hill has held prominent positions in the arts in Canada for more than 30 years. As a curator, writer, art historian, volunteer, and artist, he has played an influential role in the development of Aboriginal visual arts. A Konadaha Seneca, Hill studied at the Ontario College of Art; he also has a certificate in Museum Studies from the Ontario Museums Association. From his involvement in the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo '67, he went on to become the first Aboriginal art curator in Canada. A tireless contributor to countless committees and boards, he has lectured and written extensively. Among his many awards is an Honorary Doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier University. He has been museum director at the Woodland Cultural Centre for more than 20 years and served as Co-Chair to the Task Force on Museums and First Peoples established by the Canadian Museums Association and the Assembly of First Nations, which submitted a pivotal report in 1992, Turning the Page: Forging New Partnerships Between Museums and First Peoples. Tom won the 2004 Governor General's award in visual and media arts in the outstanding contribution category. In the words of the award's independent peer jury, "Tom Hill's many contributions to the art of Canada's Aboriginal peoples and to building bridges between Aboriginal artists and the broader Canadian community are without equal. As a curator, writer, lecturer, art historian, cultural policy-maker and volunteer, he has played a crucial role that has been insightful and visionary. Hill's tireless devotion reflects a generous spirit. His determined quest to "find balance" has served the arts well and inspired untold numbers of artists in several fields." He was recently involved as one of six Native Advisors for the Royal Ontario Museum's new galleries on First Nations, which opened in January 2006. Tom Hill lives in Ohsweken, Ontario.


Raoul McKay
Executive Producer, First Voice Multimedia Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba

Dr. Raoul McKay grew up in the Metis community of St. Eustache, Manitoba, formerly called Baie St. Paul. He speaks Mechif, French, and English. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Arts from the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg) and a Doctorate in History from the University of Toronto (Ontario), his thesis topic being Treaty 5 (1875–1935). Raoul has been active in Indigenous causes throughout his life. As an educator, he shared his experiential knowledge and his formal education with friends, colleagues, and students. He took the time to listen and read stories about the heritage and life of the Metis, First and Inuit Nations of Canada, which he used in his work in colleges and universities. He was the founding Department Head of the Native Studies Department at the University of Manitoba. As a teacher, researcher, and community worker, Raoul’s input was also sought by television and radio producers. These included Woodsmoke and Sweetgrass, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (French and English), and CKY news interviews and short documentaries. Upon his retirement as an educator, Raoul and his wife, Iris, established First Voice Multimedia Inc. in 1997 to produce multimedia products. The company produces videos about the heritage and life of Metis and First Nations in Canada, including La Voix des Mechif, Series I and II, a 13-part documentary series on the Mechif (Metis) that airs on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), The Life and Work of the Woodland Artists, St. Laurent Goes to Washington, etc.


Gerald McMaster
Curator of Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Gerald McMaster is currently the Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Previously he was the Director's Special Assistant for Mall Exhibitions (2002-2004) and Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources (2000-2002) at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). In these roles he was responsible for the design and content of the Museum's new permanent exhibitions, and for managing the curatorial, repatriation, and archival departments, respectively. Dr. McMaster also served as Curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (1981-2000), in charge of exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications of contemporary Indian art. During this time he was largely responsible for creating the Museum's Indian and Inuit Art Gallery and was Curator-in-Charge of the First Peoples Hall (1995-2000). Dr. McMaster won the 2005 National Aboriginal Achievement Award and the 2001 ICOM-Canada Prize for contributions to national and international museology. He was also honoured with the role of Canadian Commissioner to the XLVI 1995 Venice Biennale. Dr. McMaster is originally from Saskatchewan.


John Moses
Conservator, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, Quebec

John Moses is an objects conservator and researcher with the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, where he is serving as Assistant Curator of the Canadian Personalities Hall project from August 2006 to May 2007. His previous work and training includes time spent at the British Museum in London, U.K., and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. His particular interests are the accommodation of Aboriginal perspectives in mainstream museum practice, and the provision of collections care training to non-specialists. He has presented and published several papers, including the presentation Museums, Aboriginal Communities, and the Role of the Conservator at the 2004 conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Seoul, Korea. He was also the Program Chair for the Canadian Association for Conservation's 1998 workshop Native Issues in Conservation, in Whitehorse, Yukon. John is a registered member of the Delaware band at the Six Nations of the Grand River at Brantford, Ontario.


Winnie Niviuvaarjuk Owingayak
Inuit Elder; Manager, Baker Lake Inuit Heritage Centre, Baker Lake, Nunavut

Winnie Niviuvaarjuk Owingayak is a respected Elder and the Manager of the Baker Lake Inuit Heritage Centre. Born 67 years ago in an iglu at Ferguson Lake, 100 miles south of Baker Lake, Nunavut, she was raised on the Land as a traditional Inuk to hunt and fish continually or help her mother in their iglu or tent. As a young girl she worked at the Nursing Station and as a baby-sitter and housecleaner for the Qablunaat (white people). Winnie married David Owingayak in 1961, and became a homemaker and mother to five sons and one daughter. She started working as a counsellor at the Baker Lake alcohol and drug abuse centre in 1994, and at the Baker Lake Inuit Heritage Centre in 2002. She is involved in numerous cultural activities in her community. She is a Member at large of the Archive Council of Nunavummi and has collected hundreds of tapes of interviews with Elders. She participated in the development and production of the CDs Tuhaalruuqtut Vol. I & Vol. II and Footprints, recordings of traditional Inuit songs, and, being an Inuktitut singer herself, was recorded with her mother Martha and sister Jean singing songs of ancient Inuit. She also conducts Inuktitut radio phone-in shows emphasizing the Inuktitut language of the Land with Inuktitut speakers in Baker Lake. In recognition of her outstanding contribution and continued dedication to the preservation and promotion of Inuktitut literacy, Winnie received the Council of the Federation's 2006 Premier Literacy Award for Nunavut. Winnie has worked with artists as a printer of their artwork, and still sews and creates artwork herself, making needles, needle cases, and games out of caribou bone. In keeping with the ancient Inuit tradition of making something new for a special occasion, she created a beaded amauti for the Inuit Heritage Centre's opening, and another new amauti for the grand opening (May 8, 2006 at the Opening of Hamlet Days) of the Centre's exhibit on the Virtual Museum of Canada Web site in conjunction with the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). She enjoys singing and playing the accordion at community square dances. The photographs of her grandparents Hattie Niviaqsaarjuk and Pork Kangirujuaq are famous at Library and Archives Canada (these photographs were taken by Hattie's friend Geraldine Moodie at Cape Fullerton, Nunavut and Churchill, Manitoba, where Pork served with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police).


Gilbert W. Whiteduck
Senior Education Advisor for the First Nations Education Council, Maniwaki, Québec

Mr. Whiteduck is Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation community and has served over 12 years as an elected member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Band Council. Mr. Whiteduck holds an Honors Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Bachelor of Education degree, a Masters of Education degree and an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Ottawa. Mr.Whiteduck has been involved in the field of First Nations education for over 33 years. He has held many positions during this period, including Guidance Counselor, Teacher, Principal and Director of Education within his community. He is presently the Senior Education Advisor for the First Nations Education Council, which represents 22 First Nations' communities in the territory called Quebec. Mr. Whiteduck has served on many local, regional and national committees and boards. He was directly involved in the Kitigan Zibi Anisinabeg's successful human remains repatriation efforts and of the subsequent international conference which addressed repatriation issues. He has served as President of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centers which represents some 87 First Nations cultural education centers across Canada, for 7 years. Mr. Whiteduck remains active in his efforts to ensure that the First Nation's voice is not only heard but understood.

 



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Last Updated: 2007-2-2

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