Co-Conveners

 

Terri-Lynn Brennan

Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan builds the capacity of grassroots to corporate planning and policy development through Inter-Cultural Design-Thinking and Place-Making strategies and implementation. Terri combines a 30-year professional global career in Inter-Cultural Community Development with her most recent clients being the Town of Canmore, SPARC, CAPACOA, IPAA, the Ottawa Museums Network and The ArQuives. She is also a national trainer for the Cultural Human Resource Council of Canada delivering workshops on Respectful Workplaces in the Arts. Terri is of Haudenosaunee and British descent. Her family originates from Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario.

JP Longboat

Founder and Artistic Director of 

Circadia Indigena – Indigenous Arts Collective 

JP Longboat is a storyteller, multi-disciplinary artist, and choreographer. He is Mohawk, Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario. He has extensive professional training and practice in traditional and contemporary forms of visual art and live performance. JP has trained, collaborated, and performed with many professional theatre and dance companies across Canada. His work emanates from the cultural ways of his people: language, territory, teachings, and stories shared within Longhouses and lodges, gatherings, and circles. His creative process is grounded in First Nations artistic experience, practice, and legacy.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance.

 Members

Christine Friday

Christine is Temagami First Nation, is a proficient resilient Indigenous storyteller. She began her career with In the Land of Spirits in 1992 and has maintained a professional dance career for over 25 years of choreographing, solo work, commissioned work, youth creations, and full-scale productions. She is deeply connected to the cultural wellness of her people and works hard to maintain the cultural traditions and gifts of her Anishnaabe people. She recently launched her company – Friday Creation, a film, and stage Production Company – allowing her to transition her skills into filmmaking to broaden her audience while fulfilling her potential.

She recently won the 2018 KM Hunter Award for dance through the Ontario Arts Council; this award is given to those who demonstrate an original artistic voice while encouraging the artist to propel to the next level. Her intention is to awaken people within themselves, creating a shift change in the world by reflecting reality and the human experience.

Christine Friday

Christine is Temagami First Nation, is a proficient resilient Indigenous storyteller. She began her career with In the Land of Spirits in 1992 and has maintained a professional dance career for over 25 years of choreographing, solo work, commissioned work, youth creations, and full-scale productions. She is deeply connected to the cultural wellness of her people and works hard to maintain the cultural traditions and gifts of her Anishnaabe people. She recently launched her company – Friday Creation, a film, and stage Production Company – allowing her to transition her skills into filmmaking to broaden her audience while fulfilling her potential.

She recently won the 2018 KM Hunter Award for dance through the Ontario Arts Council; this award is given to those who demonstrate an original artistic voice while encouraging the artist to propel to the next level. Her intention is to awaken people within themselves, creating a shift change in the world by reflecting reality and the human experience.

Janis Monture

Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre

Janis Kahentóktha Monture is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River.  Janis returned as the Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre in May 2020.  Previously, Janis was appointed the Director of Tourism and Cultural Initiatives for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation from 2017 - 2020.  From 2003 – early 2017 Janis was the Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, one of the largest First Nations- run cultural centres/museums in the country.  In her capacity with Woodland, Janis was a steering committee member for the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures.  A committee member for the Arts & Culture Advisory Council for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan American Games.  For two brief 18-month periods Janis was on secondment to Harbourfront Centre as the Guest Artistic Director of Planet IndigenUS in 2009 and 2015.  Janis attended the University of Western Ontario where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in History and received a Museum Studies diploma from Algonquin College.  Janis continues to volunteer in her community at Six Nations and in Brantford with various organizations such as Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Brant Community Foundation and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.  Recently in April 2022 Janis received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by the Governor General of Canada.

Lynda Trudeau

General Manager of Debajehmujig Storytellers 

Lynda has experience in Finance, Human Resources, Education and Training, Community Development, Nation Building, and much more; she also believes in good governance practices. In addition to work experience, Lynda also possesses various committee experiences and has served For-Profit/Not-for-Profit Corporations through a Board of Directors capacity.

Lynda has earned a Business Administration Diploma from Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Northwood University, Indigenous Women in Leadership from St. Francis Xavier University (Coady Institute), and is currently pursuing her Master of Environment and Business through the University of Waterloo.

Lynda is a Debajehmujig Alumni as the box office coordinator for “Ever! That Nanabush!” She is also a former Debajehmujig Board Member.

Lynda is working with Joahnna Berti on the Indigenous Creative Spaces Project.

Joahnna Berti

Administrative Director, Outreach Coordinator, and Training Program Lead of

Debajehmujig Storytellers 

Joahnna joined Debajehmujig in 1993 in arts administration, marketing, and community outreach, after working in Toronto for The Second City in the late 80s. She began an improvisational theatre group with young members of the company at Debajehmujig in the summer of 1994. The Best Medicine Troupe became an improvisation training and art education team that worked within First Nation communities across Canada. Interns were accepted into the Troupe in 1997, allowing the company to develop and offer a full three-year program of arts education, community-based training, and original creation for emerging Aboriginal artists.

Over the years, Joahnna has contributed much to Debajehmujig’s Outreach and Training programs, to administration, and to the company and community as a whole. As an experienced and skilled grant writer, she has helped many artists and organizations reach their goals and expand their worlds.

Joahnna continues to work with Debajehmujig Storytellers, supporting program development in training and land/community-based performance art practices, utilizing arts animators to facilitate community cohesion and community development in Northern community contexts.

 

Joahnna is working with Lynda Trudeau on the Indigenous Creative Spaces Project.

Rose C. Stella

Artistic Director and Principal for the 

Centre for Indigenous Theatre  

Rose C. Stella is a Toronto-based actor & singer with a strong background in dance and physical theatre. Originally from Arizona, Rose is Tarahumara First Nation and Sicilian. Most recently, she was seen as Millie and Abenisha in The Election at Theatre Passe Muraille. In May 2019, Rose performed the role of Granny in CIT’s Workshop production of Herbie Barnes’ Father Penible: A Canadian Adventure of Tartuffian Proportions at Aki Studio Theatre. Some of her favourite roles include Annie Mae in Annie Mae’s Movement, Annie Cook & Veronique St. Pierre from The Rez Sisters, Edith in Beautiful Losers, April in Company, and Luna in Seduced. Rose is also a jazz vocalist and a hand drum singer with the Hidden River Singers.

Her play White Buffalo Calf Woman – A Clown Show, was workshopped at the 2003 Weesageechak Festival and subsequently invited to Harbourfront’s WORLD’S FARE FESTIVAL. In May 2013, a new draft of White Buffalo Calf Woman – A CLOWN & DANCE SHOW was presented by CIT students for their Year-End Show.  The new draft animated prophetic dreams by healer Wendy Hill, and featured new dances by Troy Emery Twigg, original hip hop songs by Donovan Tailfeathers and original sound and music by Marsha Coffee. In addition, Rose directed Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters for CIT’s Year-End Production, and in 2009, she directed CIT students in Daniel David Moses’ Coyote City.

 

Rose has been in her role with CIT since 2003.

Jenn Cole

Associate Artistic Producer at Nozhem First Peoples Performance Space

Jenn is a mixed ancestry Algonquin anishinaabe-kwe. She currently works at Nozhem First Peoples Performance Space in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough, in Michi Saagig territory.


She is a mother, a performing artist with a local collaborative practice, and Assistant Professor in Gender and Social Justice Studies at Trent University. She is a recently incoming editor for Canadian Theatre Review’s Views and Reviews.

You can find out more about her work here.

Marrie Mumford is working with Jenn Cole on the Indigenous Creative Spaces Project.

Taqralik Partridge

Director of the Nordic Lab

Taqralik is an Inuk artist, writer and curator. She is now based in Ottawa. She has previously worked as the Communications Director for Avataq Cultural Institute and as the Editor-at-Large for the Inuit Art Quarterly. She is also a member of the Inuit Leadership Group for Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project.

Having collaborated with artists throughout Nunavik and the circumpolar North, Partridge brings many years of experience working in the literary and visual arts to her role as Director.

Sid Bobb

Co-Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Aanmitaagzi

Sid, a member of the Sto:lo Nation within the Coast Salish Territory, is an arts leader and inter-disciplinary artist who lives and works in and out of Nipissing First Nation. An award-winning artist, Sid has performed both internationally and throughout Canada for close to three decades. Combining his cultural knowledge and experience as an arts leader, Sid has been committed to bringing indigenous stories and culture to the forefront.

Sid’s artistic practice moves through and between the spiritual, familial, communal, and professional. His training includes indigenous arts and western theatre, and comedic improvisation. Sid has studied at the Native Theatre School, University of Toronto’s drama program, and the Banff Centre for the Fine Art’s Aboriginal Dance Program.

Along with his wife Penny Couchie, Sid is Co-Artistic Director and co-founder of Aanmitaagzi, which has emerged as a leading indigenous arts organization and centre for multi-arts, site-specific works and international collaborations. With community, Sid has been art-making, telling stories and dancing on stage, trains, sidewalks, and on the ice. Most recently, Sid was a dancer creator within Aanmitaagzi’s Makomiwi, a dance theatre work presented on the ice of Lake Nipissing during Ice Follies 2020. Since 2010, Penny and Sid are also co-owners and operators of Big Medicine Studio, an arts dedicated space on the shores of Lake Nipissing.

Sid is working with Penny Couchie on the Indigenous Creative Spaces Project.

Penny Couchie

Co-Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Aanmitaagzi

Penny, Anishinaabe, is an award-winning arts leader, dancer, actor, choreographer, and community-engaged artist of Anishinaabe ancestry from Nipissing First Nation, Ontario. Penny is co-founder and co-artistic director of Aanmitaagzi, an Indigenous multi-arts company based in her home community. Penny holds an Honors BA from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. In 2016, Penny received the KM Hunter award in Dance.

Over the past twenty years, Penny has guest taught at schools throughout Canada and the US, including the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Her most recent choreography includes Spiderwoman Theatre’s Misdemeanor Dream (Abron’s Arts Centre New York, NY), Aanmitaagzi’s latest production Mkomiiwi (Ice Follies 2020, North Bay, Ontario), Serpent People, Aanmitaagzi’s multi-year community-engaged dance theatre project, and Material Witness, a co-production by Aanmitaagzi and Spiderwoman Theater (LaMama, New York, NY).

Penny is working with Sid on the Indigenous Creative Spaces Project.

Shelby Gagnon

Shelby Gagnon is an Anishinaabe/Cree artist from Aroland First Nation. She is an arts educator, hide tanner, muralist, curator, environmentalist, and advocate for the lands and waters. Shelby is a graduate of Lakehead University in the Fine Arts program and also works as a coordinator at The Indigenous Food Circle.

Through involvement with community-engaged organizations and projects, she uses multi-disciplinary mediums to express and share her holistic feelings. By working with other spirits, she is dedicated to expanding her knowledge and contemporary take on traditional methods of art, food, and healing practices for the community.

Shelby is working with Lora Northway on the Indigenous Creative Spaces Project.

 Coordinator at Indigenous Food Circle 

Lora Northway 

Lora is a multi-disciplinary artist in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is an exhibiting artist, arts educator, curator, and mural artist. Alongside her studio practice, she co-founded three art collectives; Die Active Art Collective (graffiti arts youth collective), Neechee Studio (Indigenous youth arts collective) and inVISIBLEink (LGBTQI2S youth writing group). For 12 plus years, she has delivered countless art workshops, developed and delivered conferences on “Youth Engagement and Arts Programming in the North” and more recently, gave a Tedx Talk on the importance of youth-led creative production.

She has participated in several Ontario Arts Council Juries and received numerous grants and awards for her community work, including Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario’s ‘Emerging Cultural Leader Award’, Outstanding Cultural Educator, Best Cultural Organization and Outstanding Community Project Awards from the City of Thunder Bay. Additionally, she helped develop the Ontario Culture Strategy, as key artist speaker and chosen artist for the cover of the final Ontario Culture Strategy document.

Lora is working with Shelby on the Indigenous Creative Spaces Project.

ArtsBuild Ontario

ArtsBuild Ontario’s role in this project is to support Indigenous sovereignty and the self-determined process for visioning the future of Indigenous creative spaces. 

ArtsBuild Ontario is a non-profit arts service organization that provides leadership and expertise needed to operate small to medium-sized arts and creative spaces in Ontario. We do this by building the capacity of arts organizations, exploring new models for cultural infrastructure and fostering sector connections.