Winter 2018 Lunch & Learns

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Jeff Thomas’ Indians on Tour: Exploring Indigenous Experiences, the Creative Campus Galleries and the Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support invite you to join us every Wednesday at noon for Lunch & Learn talks and screenings that explore contemporary Indigenous experiences as well as alliances across Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. 

Free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.
If you require accommodation to participate, please contact


January 31 | Guest speaker: Bonnie Devine
Bonnie Devine is a descendant of the Anishinaabek of Serpent River First Nation, Genaabaajing, on the north shore of Lake Huron. Formally educated in sculpture and installation art at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD U) and York University, Devine’s multi-disciplinary artwork, curatorial practice, and writing emerge from the storytelling and image-making traditions that are central to Anishinaabe culture. She is inspired by history and narrative, especially as these are entwined with land, treaty, and the environment. Devine will be sharing her current research on the Mississaugas in preparation for an upcoming exhibition at the Art Gallery of Mississauga in September 2018.

February 7 | Guest speaker: Couzyn van Heuvelen
Couzyn van Heuvelen is a Canadian Inuk sculptor. Born in Iqaluit, Nunavut, but living in Southern Ontario for most of his life, his work explores Inuit culture and identity, new and old technologies, and personal narratives. While rooted in the history and traditions of Inuit art, the work strays from established Inuit art making methods and explores a range of fabrication processes. Van Heuvelen holds a BFA from York University and an MFA from NSCAD University. The artist will be discussing his public art installation Nitsiit, currently on view at Sheridan College’s Hazel McCallion Campus.

February 14 | Screening: Reel Injun (2009)
In this insightful documentary, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond chronicles the portrayal of North American Indigenous people throughout a century of cinema. Featuring hundreds of clips from old classics as well as recent releases, the film traces the evolution of the “Hollywood Indian.” Diamond guides the audience on a journey across America to some of cinema’s most iconic landscapes and conducts candid interviews with celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Robbie Robertson and Jim Jarmusch.

February 21 | Screening: Trick or Treaty? (2014)
This powerful documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin profiles Indigenous leaders in their quest for justice as they seek to establish dialogue with the Canadian government. By tracing the history of their ancestors since the signing of Treaty No. 9, these leaders aim to raise awareness about issues vital to First Nations in Canada: respect for and protection of their lands and their natural resources, and the right to hunt and fish so that their societies can prosper.

February 28 | Closed for reading week

March 7 | Guest speaker: Chief Stacey LaForme
More info TBA

March 14 | Guest speaker: Meagan Byrne
Meagan Byrne is a Métis game designer from Hamilton, Ontario. She is co-director of Indigenous Routes and Dames Making Games and is the founder of Achimostawinan Games. She graduated from McMaster University in 2009 with a degree in English Literature and more recently from Sheridan College in 2017 with a degree in Game Design. She is currently working on Achimostawinan Games’ newest project: PURITY & DECAY.

March 21 | Guest speaker: Malissa Phung
Malissa Phung is a second-generation settler descendant of Chinese-Vietnamese refugees who have resettled on the territories of the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakado, and Tongva peoples. Having completed her PhD dissertation on remembering Sino-Indigenous relations in representations Chinese labour in Chinese Canadian literature and documentaries, she currently writes about Asian-Indigenous kinship in Asian North American and Indigenous literature. An adjunct professor of English literature and Communication at Sheridan and Trent University, Phung will be discussing the parallel histories of exoticism and exclusion that Chinese migrants and Indigenous peoples in Canada have experienced, histories complicated by race and settler colonialism.

March 28 | Screening: Six Miles Deep (2009)
On February 28, 2006, members of the Iroquois Confederacy (also known as the Haudenosaunee or People of the Longhouse) blockade a highway near Caledonia, Ontario to prevent a housing development on land that falls within their traditional territories. This documentary by Métis filmmaker Sara Roque follows a group of women who play a crucial role in leading their community, Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, in an historic blockade to protect their land.

April 4 | Guest speaker: Jeff Thomas
Jeff Thomas is an urban-based Iroquois, self-taught photo-based artist, writer, pubic speaker, and curator, living in Ottawa, Ontario, and has works in major collections in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Jeff’s most recent solo shows were A Necessary Fiction: My Conversation with Edward S. Curtis & George Hunter, Art Gallery of Mississauga, The Dancing Grounds, Wanuskewin Heritage Park (Saskatoon), A Necessary Fiction: My Conversation with Nicholas de Grandmaison, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (Lethbridge), and Resistance Is NOT Futile, Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto). Thomas has also been in many group shows, including The Family Camera, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989, Art Gallery of Ontario, Land/Slide: Possible Futures, Markham, Ontario, SAKAHÀN, National Gallery of Canada, UNMASKING: Arthur Renwick, Adrian Stimson, Jeff Thomas, Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France. In 1998, he was awarded the Canada Council’s prestigious Duke and Duchess of York Award in Photography, inducted to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, in 2008 he received The Karsh Award in photography, and in 2017 received a REVAL Indigenous Art Award.