Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the Museum of Anthropology.
"Assert, Defend, Take Space: Aboriginal Youth Conference on Identity, Activism and Film" was a day-long conference on issues of concern to Aboriginal youth. Artists from the Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth exhibition were joined by young filmmakers and activists from across Canada. Building off of the screened films, panelists discussed themes of youth identity and politics, the objectification of Indigenous women, and environmentalism and youth activism. "Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth" is an exhibition that looked at the diverse ways urban Aboriginal youth are asserting their identity and affirming their relationship to both urban spaces and ancestral territories. Unfiltered and unapologetic, over 20 young artists from across Canada, the US, and around the world define what it really means to be an urban Aboriginal youth today. In doing so they challenge centuries of stereotyping and assimilation policies. This exhibit will leave visitors with the understanding that today's urban Aboriginal youth are not only acutely aware of the ongoing impacts of colonization, but are also creatively engaging with decolonizing movements through new media, film, fashion, photography, painting, performance, creative writing and traditional art forms.
Artists in the exhibition include Alison Bremner (Tlingit), Deanna Bittern (Ojibwe), Jamie Blankenship-Attig (Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, Nez Perce, Muskoday Cree), Kelli Clifton (Tsimshian), Jeneen Frei Njootli (Vuntut Gwitchin), Ippiksaut Friesen (Inuit), Clifton Guthrie (Tsimshian), Cody Lecoy (Okanagan/Esquimalt), Arizona Leger (Fijian, Samoan, Tongan, Maori), Danielle Morsette (Stó:lō /Suquamish), Ellena Neel (Kwakwaka'wakw/Ahousaht), Zach Soakai (Tongan, Samoan), Diamond Point (Musqueam), Crystal Smith de Molina (Git’ga’at), Nola Naera (Maori), Kelsey Sparrow (Musqueam/Anishinabe), Cole Speck (Kwakwaka'wakw), Rose Stiffarm ((Siksika Blackfoot, Chippewa Cree, Tsartlip Saanich, Cowichan, A'aninin, Nakoda, French, & Scottish), Taleetha Tait (Wet’suwet’en), Marja Bål Nango (Sámi, Norway), Harry Brown (Kwakwaka'wakw), Anna McKenzie (Opaskwayak Cree, Manitoba), Sarah Yankoo (Austrian, Scottish, Algonquin, Irish and Romanian), Raymond Caplin (Mi’gmac), Emilio Wawatie (Anishanabe) and the Northern Collection (Toombz/Shane Kelsey [Mohawk], and the Curse/Cory Golder [Mi’maq]). Also included are works from the Urban Native Youth Association, Musqueam youth and the Native Youth Program.
The exhibition was curated by Pam Brown (Heiltsuk Nation), Curator, Pacific Northwest, and Curatorial Assistant Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot, Blood Reserve/Sami, northern Norway).