Indigenous Collections Symposium Speakers

Overview  | Webinar & Session Recordings Schedule  |  Speakers  |  Proceedings 


Six Nations Polytechnic, Ohsweken & Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford

March 23-24, 2017


Download Speakers' Biographies: Thursday / Friday.
Keynote The Dream, The Pulse, The River

Wanda Nanibush

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator and community organizer. Currently Nanibush is the first curator of Canadian and Indigenous  Art  at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her current exhibition Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 is on view at the AGO until May 2017. Nanibush also teaches graduate courses at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She has published in many places including the books Women in a Globalizing World: Equality, Development, Diversity and Peace and This is an Honour Song: Twenty Years since the Blockades and co-edited the book The Winter We Danced (ARP press)and York University’s InTensions journal on The Resurgence of Indigenous Women’s Knowledge and Resistance in Relation to Land and Territoriality, as well as catalogue essays on Jeff Thomas, Adrian Stimson, Rebecca Belmore and more. Nanibush has over twenty years arts sector experience through working for many media arts organizations, such as, ImagineNATIVE, LIFT, Optic Nerve Film Festival, Reframe Film Festival, and other arts organizations like Ontario Arts Council, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and ANDPVA in the roles of programmer, festival coordinator, Aboriginal Arts Officer and Executive Director. Nanibush has a Masters in Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.




Collecting on a Continuum: Artifacts(?) to Art

Kevin Sakolinsky

Kevin Sakolinsky has worked with the Indigenous Art Collection at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in various capacities for the last 13 years and has facilitated the loan of works from the Collection to major national and international exhibitions including "7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc", "Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes" and “On the Trails of the Iroquois". He presently serves as the A\Director of the Indigenous Art Centre at INAC.

Danielle Printup

Curatorial and Research Assistant, Indigenous Art Centre, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada




The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation and Archaeological Collections

Meagan Brooks


Meagan is an Archaeology Review Officer for the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport. She has a background in Ontario archaeology, artifact analysis, museums and teaching. Meagan has received an Honours BA in Historical/Industrial Archaeology from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MA in Archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently pursuing a Professional Specialization Certificate in Collections Management from the University of Victoria.

Anong Migwans Beam


Art Director and Curator, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation




Unlocking the Past with Two Keys: Transforming the Archaeological Material Heritage of Ontario 

Dr. Neal Ferris

Dr. Neal Ferris is a professor at the University of Western Ontario, where he holds the Lawson Chair of Canadian Archaeology, a privately endowed research chair cross-appointed between the Department of Anthropology and the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. He also serves as the Director for Sustainable Archaeology: Western, whose mandate is to integrate commercial and research-based practice through collections management, and advance a collaborative form of archaeology where archaeology and First Nation communities jointly manage the archaeological heritage. Prior to his start at Western in 2007, he served as a provincial archaeologist for the province of Ontario Ministry of Culture for 20 years. Dr. Ferris’ research primarily focuses on the archaeological heritage of the last 1000 years in Eastern North America, and on the contemporary practice of archaeology and wider implications this contested heritage has in society today.




Unsettling Museum Catalogues

Cara Krmpotich


Cara Krmpotich is Associate Professor, Museum Studies, University of Toronto. She researches and teaches in the areas of indigenous & museum relations; cultural property; critical collections management; and contemporary museological issues. She leads a program that encourages artefact handling to build collective histories among urban Aboriginal seniors. She also has a partnership with the Haida Repatriation Committee. Cara is the author of The Force of Family: repatriation, kinship and memory on Haida Gwaii and co-authored This Is Our Life: Haida material heritage and changing museum practice.




Partnering with the Atikokan Native Friendship Centre

Lois Fenton

Lois Fenton, a graduate of the Masters in Public History Program at the University of Western Ontario, she has invigorated the community of Atikokan using local history. Lois Fenton is the Curator of the Atikokan Centennial Museum and Historical Park. A remote community in Northwestern Ontario, Atikokan has a unique history of community and mining. As a result of her work, visitors to the museum have increased, and the people of Atikokan speak of their museum with pride and a renewed interest in their history.

Jaret Veran

Healing and Wellness Coordinator, Atikokan Native Friendship Centre (TBC)




Deyohahá:ge Case Study

Tanis Hill

Assistant Project Coordinator, Deyohahá:ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre, Six Nations Polytechnic




Walking Together: Building a Network of Resources

Iona McCraith

Iona McCraith is Archives Advisor for the Archives Association of Ontario. She previously held positions at the Canadian Conservation Institute, the City of Toronto Archives, the Archives of Ontario and Fleming College.  Iona holds a BA from York University and an Applied Arts Diploma in Museum Technology from Algonquin College.  She also has a Certificate in Preventive Conservation from the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. She is a former Chair of the Canadian Council of Archives Preservation Committee and a current member of the CCA Archival Advisors Working Group.

Lisa Snider


Lisa Snider is currently the Archeion Coordinator for the Archives Association of Ontario, and MemoryBC Coordinator for the Archives Association of British Columbia. Lisa has been a digital archivist since 2010, and has worked at archives such as: the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin and Brock University. Lisa was a professional web developer for over 17 years, and is an internationally recognized expert on archival accessibility for people with disabilities.





Reconciliation through Education: the Archives of Ontario’s Indigenous Relations Work Group

Sean Smith


Sean Smith is a Senior Archivist in the Collections Development and Management Unit at the Archives of Ontario. He previously held positions at the Clara Thomas Archives at York University and Library and Archives Canada. He served time on the Archives Association of Ontario’s Professional Development Committee as a representative for both the Eastern Ontario Chapter and Toronto Area Archivists Group. He is also a past president of the Toronto Area Archivists Group.




Repatriation, Reconciliation, and Refiguring Relationships. A Case study of the return of children’s artwork from the Alberni Indian Residential School to Survivors and their families.

Andrea N. Walsh

Andrea N. Walsh, PhD. (Canadian: Settler Irish, British, Scottish, Nlaka'pamux ancestry) is a visual anthropologist at the University of Victoria of who specializes in 20th century and contemporary Indigenous visual and material culture and curating. Her community-based academic research and curatorial practice is located at the intersection of Indigenous and non-Indigenous experiences of space and place, histories and identities. At the University of Victoria she directs the annual contemporary Salish Artist in Residence Program. She is the Principle Investigator on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) project to identify residential school art collections across Canada. Walsh was inducted as Honorary Witness to the TRC in 2012.

Major funding for Walsh’s research has been gratefully received from the Canadian Heritage Information Network, the TRC, and SSHRC. Recently curated exhibitions include To Reunite, To Honour, To Witness (Legacy Art Gallery 2013), and We Are All One (Alberni Valley Museum 2014/15), and Behind the Veil: the art of Rande Cook (Campbell River Art Gallery 2015) Out of the Frame: Salish Printmaking (Legacy Art Gallery 2016).

Mary Jo Hughes


Mary Jo Hughes is the Director of University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries where she builds a program based on academic and community partnerships through cross-disciplinary projects. Producing historical and contemporary exhibitions with local, national and international scopes, Hughes worked across Canada as curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (2007-2012), the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1995-2007) the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario (1990-1995).She also teaches Museum Studies through Continuing Studies at UVic.  




The MFN Artefact Story – The Challenges of Coming Home

Wendy Peterson

Wendy Peterson is the Michipicoten First Nation Librarian and First Nation Ratification Officer; she is also a Community resident and member. She values the importance of the First Nation culture and history to preserve for future generations and very is eager to learn more.

Johanna Rowe

Johanna Rowe is a local historian and Heritage Professional focused on recording and promoting the dynamic natural and cultural stories of communities along the eastern shoreline of Lake Superior.  She has authored a collection of books on the history of the area.  Her consulting work includes providing government agencies, communities and corporations with cultural maps, identification of heritage values, and interpretive plaques and panels promoting natural and cultural tourism in Northern Algoma.




Ruffling the Feathers of the Smithsonian: The National Museum of the American Indian and Repatriation

Doug George-Kanentiio




Working with Indigenous Collections at the CMH

Linda Grussani

Linda Grussani is a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, born and raised in the Ottawa area. A curator and art historian, she presently holds the position of Curator, Aboriginal Art at the Canadian Museum of History. Over the last 17 years, Linda has worked with the art collections at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the National Gallery of Canada and the Carleton University Art Gallery. Linda holds both a BA and MA in Art History from Carleton University and is currently working on a PHD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University.

Kelly Cameron

Kelly Cameron works with the CMH ethnographic collections and related documentation in support of requests for information associated with ongoing treaty negotiations and repatriation discussions. Helping to facilitate visits to the museum from Indigenous groups wishing to view collections and conduct research is an important activity within the Repatriation and Indigenous Relations unit, and Kelly has been involved in this kind of museum engagement since first beginning her career at CMH in the early 1990’s

Penny Pine

Coordinator, Ethnographic Collections, Canadian Museum of History

Penny Pine (Ojibwa) from Garden River First Nation, graduated from the Museum Technology program at Algonquin College (1999) and began with the Canadian Museum of History (CMH) as an intern, Aboriginal Training Programme in Museum Practices.  After successful completion of the program, Penny worked in various capacities at the CMH, before joining the Collections team in 2003.  Penny is a strong advocate for and provides leadership on the preservation and care of the First Nation, Inuit and Métis collection of the museum. As Collections Coordinator, Penny will speak on her over 17 years experience of working with the Museum’s collection and with Indigenous communities, including her role in incorporating traditional care, handling and cultural protocols into collections management practices.




One Stitch at a Time – A Cultural Tourism Partnership

Sheila Knox


Sheila Knox is Head of Education and Programs at the Bata Shoe Museum. She has 30 years of experience in the field of Museum Education and Programs. Earlier in her career she worked at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canadian Museum of History and Parks Canada, and has been with the Bata Shoe Museum since it opened in 1992. Ms. Knox is passionate about sharing the specialized collection of the Museum, which spans the globe and world history.  She firmly believes that you can learn a lot about people from what they wear on their feet.

Stephanie Pangowish

Stephanie Pangowish is an Anishinaabekwe from Wiikwemkoong on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She is an instructor for Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School held at the Bata Shoe Museum, since September 2016. With 10 years experience in making moccasins for her children's regalia, she is inspired by traditional Anishinaabe designs and colors mixed with modern fashionable accessories. As a young girl, Stephanie has loved the arts and has since married into a pow wow family where she beads, dances and sings on the pow wow trail. During her spare time, she performs Indigenous stand up comedy, creates BEADoon Bling jewellery and dedicates her professional career to improving economic livelihood in Indigenous communities.

Download Speakers' Biographies: Thursday / Friday.

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