In the Presence of Ancestors: Musqueam
Thursday, June 3, 2021. From 7pm via Zoom.
In the Presence of Ancestors: Musqueam
A conversation about our sacred relationship with these land and waters and the responsibility we have as current residents to join the legacy of caregivers.
sχɬemtəna:t, Audrey Siegl, an independent activist from the unceded lands of the Musqueam. She has been active on grassroots environmental and social justice-political frontline movements. Audrey has worked on raising awareness on MMIWG, the housing crisis, the Fentynal crisis, forced displacement and the connection btw extractive industry projects and violations of FN, Land & human rights.
A member of the Musqueam Nation, Cecilia Point is a political activist who stood for 200 plus days protecting her nation’s ancestral burial site from development in 2012. Since then she has taken part in countless political actions advocating for human rights and the environment. Cecilia has also dedicated many years to cultural preservation in the field of Indigenous cultural and eco tourism. She currently holds the position of Director of Operations for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. She is a facilitator for reconciliation workshops with the Bright New Day organization, and has been designated a public speaker for her nation. She holds a Certificate in Business from UBC, supplemented with courses in First Nations studies, including hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (the Musqueam language).
Manuel Axel Strain is a non-binary 2-Spirit artist with Musqueam/Simpcw/Inkumupulux ancestry, based in stolen, sacred and ancestral homelands and waters of the Katzie/Kwantlen peoples. Although they have attended Emily Carr University of Art + Design they prioritize Indigenous epistemologies through the embodied knowledge of their mother, father, siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and ancestors. Creating artwork in dialogue, collaboration, and reference with their kin/relatives, their lived experience becomes a source of agency that resonates through their work with performance, space, painting, sculpture, photography, video, sound and installation. Their artworks display a strong autobiographical brace, tackling such subjects as ancestral and community ties, Indigeneity, labour, resource extraction, gender, Indigenous medicine, and land. Their work has been seen in the Capture Photography Festival, the Richmond Art Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, and other places across Turtle Island. Recent works confront and undermine realities and imaginaries of colonialism to offer a space that exists beyond that matrix of power.
They have guest lectured at the Vancouver Community College, where they actively participated in the Indigenous Art Symposium “Indigenizing Higher Education.” Some of their most meaningful community projects include “My Blood Can’t Feel the Land” with Gallery Gachet “Resistance and Resurgence,” a 2-Spirit exhibition at Interurban Art Gallery, “Destigmatization and Harm Reduction” at the Musqueam Cultural Pavilion, “The Land Can’t Hear Your Voices,” created during a residency as the Maple Ridge Artist in Residence. Working in programming at Gallery Gachet they helped co-curate the Annual Oppenheimer Park Show through which they centered the artists of Camp KT and DTES residents, while partnering with Vines Art festival to create a publication. Through Gachet in collaboration with The Capilano Review, they are currently coordinating a community-led art project centering the creative processes of two-spirit, trans, and gender non-conforming artists as well as workshops for residents of supportive housing in the Downtown Eastside. They also currently serve as a board member at VIVO Media Arts.
Acknowledging that we are on the unceded, occupied, ancestral and traditional lands of the Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish),Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Proudly presented by the Port Moody Ecological Society / Noons Creek Hatchery, Vines Festival, City of Port Moody, and the Canada Arts Council. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.