First Nations Artist Forum

Performance as Medicine: Indigenous Performance Art Symposium

Saturday, November 25, 2017  
Workshops 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Performance and Panel 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville Street

The Performance as Medicine: Indigenous Performance Art Symposium will feature four interactive workshops, which will explore Indigenous philosophies and contemporary expressive art forms based on each facilitator’s creative practice. Following the workshops, there will be a free public performance and panel discussion. The event is presented by City of Victoria Artist in Residence Lindsay Delaronde and hosted by the Royal BC Museum. (Poster photo credit: Remy Campbell)


Please register in advance to participate in the workshops. Registration is $15 and includes two workshops (one morning and one afternoon), a catered lunch and snacks. Register here

The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a workshop sign-up, followed by a formal welcome by Lindsay Delaronde at 9:30 a.m.

Morning workshops from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. will be held by local facilitators Krystal Cook and Jessica Sault, and afternoon workshops from 1 - 3 p.m. will be facilitated by Bradley Dick and Sarah Pocklington. Lunch will be served from 12 - 1 p.m. Workshop descriptions can be found below.

Site Performance

Following the workshops, from 3:30 - 4 p.m., Lindsay Delaronde and Erynne Gilpin will perform “Rage Flowers”, a co-created and choreographed performance. The fusion of movement, sound vibrations, sacred ceremony and creativity will convey a complex and interconnected relationship between First Nations, people and government. The performance will be free and open to the public. No registration required.

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion will follow from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. The panel will be moderated by Lucy Bell, the head of the Royal BC Museum’s First Nations Department and Repatriation Program, and will feature a discussion between Erynne Gilpin, a performance artist with PhD studies in women’s leadership in land-based governance and Indigenous healing methodologies, France Trépanier, a visual artist, curator and researcher, and Lindsay Delaronde. The panel discussion will be free and open to the public. No registration required. 

Workshop Descriptions

Krystal Cook - The Celebration of Oral Tradition
This workshop finds its roots deeply embedded in the celebration and honouring of Oral Tradition. It will explore the creative journey of accessing and translating worldview into writing, poetry, movement and sound. It will offer fun exercises that honour the richness of language, explore body memory, and celebrate voice. A holistic, eclectic mix of creative tools will be used. 

Jessica Sault
In her workshop, Jessica will lead a conversation on the topics below, followed by an interactive dance workshop. 

  • Community before Contact
  • Residential Schools
  • Potlatch Ban
  • Philosophies - We are all one; The number 4
  • Culture - song and dance

Sarah Pocklington
Sarah is passionate about music and the power of music to inspire creativity and wellness in our everyday lives. Music tells a story that can connect us through sound. And, sound exploration is fun! Based on principals of oral-aural tradition, this workshop will focus on exploring sound through voice, body and percussion instruments. Participants will have the opportunity to learn some singing/breathing techniques that will help them find and support their own voice. The workshop will experiment with vocal sound and rhythm, and explore song creation and harmony through improvisation and trying things out. Come prepared to explore your voice, engage with new ideas and sounds, learn a song, laugh and make some friends. No experience is necessary, just the willingness to try!

Bradley Dick - Sxwamalas Synopsis: Gift from our Ancestors
Sxwamales is an age-old teaching that applies to all things contemporary. It embraces universal virtues and recognizes the gifts we carry as individuals and as organizations. It is a practical, whole-hearted and compassionate way of envisioning who we are as humans, as practitioners and how best to move forward with our own gifts and honour this in others.

Sxwamales is a tool of engagement with Aboriginal families, communities and organizations. In this workshop, Bradley will share the Teaching of Palahtsis, which will be the catalyst for the day and discussions. The story centres on sacred gifts that are brought forth to share with our colleagues. Each gift that is present shares something sacred and strong within and offers this as a guiding tool to building strong and healthy relations with our colleagues and communities.

In this exercise, you will experience the Sxwamales, hear the story as told by the facilitator and then be guided through the circle that will speak to words within the Lkwungen language as tools of engagement. Circle teachings offer universal virtues such as trust, courage and unity and these will be guiding tools in a series of discussion questions for the break out groups. Each question will identify either barriers or strengths for building positive and strong relations and will also acknowledge the gifts of all present and be a tool to recognizing these gifts in others.

All discussions are presented in a safe format and based on mutual agreements that we will create together on site.

In preparation, it is requested that all participants bring an object that speaks to their individual creativity and be prepared to share for two minutes or less with the group.


Bradley Dick
Bradley Dick is a contemporary artist who works collaboratively with his brothers, Clarence Dick Junior and Fabian Quocksister, and dad Butch Dick.  to carve ceremonial poles that adorn City Hall and the Songhees Wellness Centre. Dick has been doing commissioned works for well over 20 years, including ceremonial poles that adorn Victoria City Hall and the Songhees Wellness Centre, and has artworks all over the world, as far as New Zealand, England, Norway and Sweden. He has sold numerous drums and carvings locally, and focuses on designs based on his family teachings and culture.

Dick’s works consist of original paintings, small and large carvings, and putting contemporary designs onto shoes and hats. He also paints collaboratively with his wife Jennifer – work that reflects her Cree ancestry as well as Dick’s west coast influence. These artworks have been sold privately throughout Vancouver Island and there will be more to come.

Jessica Sault
Jessica Sault is from the Tseshaht First Nation, Nuu chah nulth. Jessica comes from a large family who were champions for cultural revival and who unfailingly adhered to the tradition and culture, despite the formidable Potlatch Ban. Jessica’s parents and grandparents attended the Port Alberni Indian Residential School.

Sault works in her community to develop and teach Indigenous culture through workshops, literacy programs and school curriculums.  In her work with children, she has promoted and developed child literacy programs. In recent years, she has developed the Healing Arts workshops for Aboriginal and low income people. This workshop provides traditional healing tools, the Animal Kingdom teachings, smudge kits, First Aid kits, eagle feathers, flutes and sweat lodge teachings. Sault has also developed the Animal Kingdom Program based on First Nations’ philosophies, culture, traditions, songs and dance.

Sarah Pocklington
Sarah Pocklington is a member of the Indigenous women’s trio, Asani, a Juno-nominated and award-winning group. Pocklington and the other group members draw from their cultural heritage to create music that is accessible to a wide audience and deliver a powerful message from their hearts. Asani has had the opportunity to perform for Her Majesty the Queen, the Dali Lama, as well as at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, BC. In addition to singing in Asani, Pocklington also composes music for film documentaries and television. 

Krystal Cook

Krystal Cook is a Kwakwaka’wakw Woman from the ‘Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay, B.C. She is a graduate of the En’owkin International School of Writing (UVic) and the Centre for Indigenous Theatre’s Native Theatre School Program. She is a theatrical performer, poet, facilitator at Healing through the Arts, and Mother. She has performed her one woman show Emergence at Uno Fest, FemFest, Meli Fest, The Performer in a Multi-Cultural Society Symposium and the North American Indigenous Games. She currently works with Aboriginal Nations Education Division in School District 61. She is part of a Kwakwaka’wakw community group who are passionately committed to the revitalization/preservation of the Kwak’wala language. She wrote a mini-play The Lesson, for Spark Fest which she performed with her Mother and Son, addressing the urgent issue of Kwak’wala possibly being one generation away from extinction. Krystal has also served as a member of the ‘Namgis Constitution Development Committee. She currently resides in Victoria, B.C. with her partner Nik & their three children Kwasun, Rayn & Tesekla.  

Erynne Gilpin

Erynne is of mixed Saulteaux-Cree Métis, Filpina, Irish and Scottish Ancestry. She is currently a PhD candidate of Indigenous Governance (UVIC) and her research centres on Indigenous wellness knowledges as decolonial praxis with specific attention to womxn’s leadership in water/land-based governance and healing methodologies (with focus on Indigenous birth work). "I come from many worlds and am trying to find a way to construct a world where they can all fit. I understand processes of decolonization as first a Great Remembrance and thereafter connection to self, others, spirit and the Land".

Lindsay Delaronde
Born and raised on the Kahnawake reservation, Iroquois Mohawk artist Lindsay Delaronde is a strong advocate for Indigenous voices, stories, culture and history. Delaronde has been living on the West Coast for the past ten years, she began this journey by travelling to Vancouver to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design followed by a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Victoria. Recently, Delaronde completed her second Master’s degree in Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology at the University of Victoria.

Delaronde is a professional multi-disciplinary visual artist who works in print-making, painting, drawing, video and performance. The intention of her work is to manifest the relationships between Indigenous and non-indigenous as well as intercultural respect among allies, nation-to-nation.

France Trépanier

France Trépanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. Her practice is informed by strategies of collaboration. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in many venues in Canada and in Europe. Her artworks are included in various public and private collections, including the Museum of Civilization in Quebec, the Aboriginal Art Collection of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Banff Centre Art Collection.

France was selected, by the Canada Council for the Arts, to be part of the International Indigenous Curators Exchange in New Zealand and the 2017 Venice Biennale. She is the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space Arts Society in Victoria BC, where she is
co-curating, with Michelle Jacques and Doug Jarvis, the exhibition Deconstructing Comfort. She recently curated the Awakening Memory Project with artists Sonny Assu, LessLIE and Marianne Nicolson. France was the co-recipient of the 2012 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Lucy Bell
As the Head of the First Nations Department and Repatriation Program at the Royal BC Museum, Lucy Bell has coordinated the return of more than 500 Haida ancestors from museums throughout North America and the United Kingdom. The documentary Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii charts the success of just one strand of this remarkable program.

A member of the Haida Nation, Bell is a founding member of the Haida Heritage and Repatriation Society, where she has been at the forefront of the Nation’s repatriation program. Prior to joining the Royal BC Museum, she worked for the Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u (Speak Haida Society). She is passionate about the repatriation and revitalization of language resources from museum and archival collections. Bell has presented on both repatriation and language revitalization at several conferences around the world, advised on the development of a number of exhibitions on Indigenous culture, and promoted Haida culture in both print and broadcast media.

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