Indigenous Artist Forum

Storytelling as Medicine: Indigenous Performance Art Symposium

Saturday, October 13, 2018
Workshops 9:15 a.m. – 4 p.m. (FULL)
Site Performance 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville Street

The Storytelling as Medicine: Indigenous Performance Art Symposium takes place on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at the Royal BC Museum.

Hosted by the Royal BC Museum and presented by City of Victoria Indigenous Artist in Residence Lindsay Delaronde, the event features four interactive workshops that explore Indigenous philosophies and contemporary expressive art forms based on each facilitator’s creative practice. 

NOTE: Registration for the workshops is now closed. Registrants are asked to arrive at 8:30 a.m. on October 13 to select a morning and afternoon workshop they wish to attend. Please see details below. A reminder that registration includes a catered light breakfast and lunch. (Above, Photo credit: KI Perruzzo)

Free Site Performance

The community is invited to attend a FREE site performance of Inuit-style throat singing duo PIQSIQ on Saturday, October 13 from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the Newcombe Conference Hall in the museum. The performance follows the workshops and is open to the public. Registration is not required.

PIQSIQ is comprised of sisters Kayley Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik, who perform ancient traditional songs and eerie new compositions. Both sisters are also members of the Juno Award-winning band, Quantum Tangle, alongside Greyson Gritt.

Workshop Sign-In

Workshop registrants are asked to meet at the museum's entrance doors located across from Thunderbird Park at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 13 to sign in and select one morning and one afternoon workshop from the list and descriptions below. 

Saturday, October 13 at 8:30 a.m.
Registrants sign up for one morning and one afternoon workshop

Morning Workshops, 9:15 a.m. - Noon 
Monique Gray Smith
Lindsay Delaronde

Afternoon Workshops, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Bradley Dick
Teka Everstz

Workshop Descriptions

Monique Gray Smith 
Everyone has a story. This is a dynamic workshop to get your creative juices flowing and a way for self-exploration and discovery. For generations upon generations, it has been our artists who have been the catalysts for healing and wellness. This storytelling/writing workshop will begin with ceremony. This is an integral aspect of honouring and being grateful for the stories that are within us and the ones that will be revealed. Monique will share her journey of how she captures ideas and turns them into stories, including a few readings from her books. We will then move into working with various prompts that can start the writing to flow. There will be time spent focusing on character creation, environment description and effective use of dialogue. The activities are designed to foster creative expression and a sense of pride and confidence in writing. 

Lindsay Delaronde
Indigenous story work has been crucial for our evolution and intergenerational ways of being. We have songs, dances art and relationships to keep our rightful place on Turtle Island. We continue to self determine who we have been, what we are, and who we are becoming in this country. We have continued to move mountains and regain our strength, determination and power. Story work has the power to change the way we see ourselves and others. Bringing together stories and to share is the purpose of my workshop. If you love visual storytelling, working with others and getting messy with materials, this is the workshop for you!

Using mixed-media collage, archive photography from the BC archives and a walk about in the museum -- our goal is to tell our story through the past into the present and weave together a story of unity. We will begin creating collage/mixed media artworks onto bristol board paper starting with the theme of self and explore our personal narratives: Where do we come from? Who am I? How have a come to this place? We then will bring those personal stories together in group work of 3-4 people and weave a story that includes creating a group narrative. The last part of this workshop is to bring all the collages together to create a narrative with the whole group. Interpersonal reflections, relationships to self and others, acknowledgement of this territory and how we all fit into a complex history is the purpose of exploring this workshop through a visual and creative way! 

Teka Everstz
Like all Indigenous knowledge and philosophy across mother earth, everything in the natural world is a result of the actions of the archetypal beings, which have resulted in the creation of the world we live in today.  Indigenous storytelling has been used for eons to connect generations of listeners to the origin and evolution of such archetypes; however, with modern-day Western cultural influences, the lines between archetype, spirit, and ego connections have become blurred.  By approaching these blurred lines with new tools, we can redefine diversity and cultural interference as modernized adaptations of old legends. We can enable the storyteller to confidently seek out and identify new opportunities to navigate the process of knowledge transfer as we welcome each new generation that walks on this earth as they become learners of their gifts, each with a unique set of behaviours and challenges.

Bradley Dick 
Details coming soon.

Facilitator Bios

Monique Gray Smith
Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud mom of twins. She is an award-winning author, speaker and sought-after consultant. Monique has been running her business, Little Drum Consulting since 1996. Her career has focused on fostering paradigm shifts that emphasize the strength and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada. Monique’s first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature and her first children’s book, My Heart Fills with Happiness recently won the 2017 Christie Harris BC Book Award for Children’s Literature. Her latest release, Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation is currently being used across the country as a tool to educate the hearts and minds of both young and not-so-young readers. Monique has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 26 years and is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

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 10 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.

Teka Everstz
Tekatsi'tsaneken Little Bear Everstz is a proud member of the Bear Clan, hailing from the Kanien'keha'ka Mohawk Nation Territory of Kahnawake, located along the southern shore of the St. Laurence River in present-day Montreal, Quebec. Grounded in the Haudenosaunee principles of reciprocity, mutuality and interdependence, Everstz has dedicated himself to fostering capacity building, community development and community empowerment, as well as advocating for strength-based approaches that emphasize resiliency, enhancement of artistic expression and cultural knowledge sharing practices as sustainable innovations to address social governance mechanisms and social determinants of health.

With over 20 years of experience in youth advocacy and engagement, cultural knowledge facilitation and program implementation, Everstz continues to create his pathway forward by adhering to the teachings encompassed within the ideas of walking in two worlds, occupying, and the third space. Holding space as an artist, facilitator, role model and mentor, he strives to offer his knowledge, experience and creativity to the next generations of leaders who aim to generate affirmative action. In addition, he works towards promoting education and awareness of human rights that advocate for social justice, equality and inclusion for Indigenous peoples and communities facing systemic discrimination, segregation and health disparities as a result of their respective differences in gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and mental health conditions.

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.

For More Information