Land and Life in Tkaronto
New Solidarities Toward a Decolonial Future
Details: As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, this year’s Hancock Lecture addresses the 15,000-year history of Toronto, or Tkaronto, as a home to Indigenous peoples and the ways in which their legacy and language must be recognized, respected and encouraged to flourish. Speaker Susan Blight examines the potential for real change, renewed relationships and the repatriation of Indigenous land and life in Tkaronto. This examination is particularly relevant now in light of the Final Report of the University of Toronto’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Steering Committee, which was submitted to the President and Provost on January 13.
Susan is an Anishinaabe artist and co-founder of the Ogimaa Mikana project, an art collective working to revitalize and reclaim the Anishinaabeg language and territory. Guided by ancestors and committed to future generations, the Ogimaa Mikana project and its supporters seek to activate a decolonial future where Indigenous language is heard, spoken, and valued.
As a site for bringing together Indigenous and non-indigenous people, Susan sees Tkaronto as unique in its combination of cultural diversity and civic engagement. It can become a place to examine new ways of thinking about solidarity-building and creative practices of resistance in support of an Indigenous resurgence in both language and presence.
Following her presentation, Susan will be joined for an onstage discussion with artist and activist Kim Katrin Milan and moderator Karyn Recollet.
About Susan Blight
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 anti-oppression—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, co-chair of the Co-Curricular Education Subcommittee of the University of Toronto’s Truth and Reconciliation Steering Committee, organizes the annual Indigenous Education Week at the U of T, and is the recipient of a 2014 IDERD award for her antiracism work.
About Kim Katrin Milan
Kim is the co-founder and Executive Director of The People Project; an initiative to bring forth local and international community development for queer and trans folks of color and their allies, through alternative education, art-activism, and collaboration. She is also one of the owners of the Glad Day Book Shop, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the world. As an educator, Kim travels around the world talking to people about justice, equity, and human rights. Kim has also been celebrated in Canada as 2016’s National Youth Role Model and nationally as one of the 50 Most Loved Gay Canadians.
Check out Kim’s TED Talk.
About Karyn Recollet
Karyn Recollet is an Assistant professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Karyn is an urban Cree, residing in the traditional territories of the Petun, Wendat, Mississauga’s of the New Credit, Dish with One Spoon treaty territory. Karyn’s research explores the various intersections of Indigenous artistic activations rooted in the multiple layered Indigenous territories that are urban spaces. Karyn’s focal points are choreographic fugitivity, Indigenous futurities, and decolonial love. Karyn’s publications include articles Glyphing Decolonial love, Gesturing Indigenous futurities, and has coedited alongside Eve Tuck, Native Feminist Texts (a special edition of English Journal). Karyn is currently working on a manuscript entitled Urban glyphs: fugitivities, futurities, and radical decolonial love.
The Blanket Exercise: Experience and Facilitator Training
Developed by KAIROS Canada, the Blanket Exercise is based on participatory popular education methodology and the major themes and findings of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
When: Jan. 19, 2017, 8:30 am-4 pm
Where: East Common Room, Hart House
Cost: Free / Register at www.kairosblanketexercise.org/register by January 13.
Talking Walls Exhibition
In support of this year’s Hancock Lecture, a groundbreaking lecture by Susan Blight that explores the past, present and future of local Indigenous peoples, Hart House presents this Talking Walls exhibit to give everyone an opportunity to learn some Anishinaabemowin!
Where: Main Hall, Hart House
More information about this exhibition
About the Hancock Lecture
First launched in 2001, the annual Hancock Lecture is one of the biggest events on Hart House’s busy calendar. Organized by students and open to the public, the lecture aspires to ignite public conversation and debate and take issues identified as important by youth to a national audience.
Originally called the Hart House Lecture, it was renamed in 2007 to honour Margaret Hancock’s decade as Warden. For Hart House—a historic gathering place at the University and a home for debate, discussion and critical thought—the Lecture is a fitting medium to nurture civic leadership and participation.
Take a look at our past Hancock Lectures.