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NAISA North Virtual Conference

Sustaining Indigenous Liveliness

Welcome to NAISA North Virtual, an online conference that was hosted in 2022 by the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning. Our organizing committee held an open call and commissioned panels and art from Northern Indigenous peoples. We wanted to use the NAISA platform to showcase research in northern Canada and beyond by northern Indigenous community researchers, Elders, land based practitioners, artists and makers, academics, and students.  We wanted to make the presentations accessible to as many people in the north as possible. We strived to create  collaborative, nurturing, and reflective spaces that celebrate Indigenous excellence.


Our panels, films, round tables and performances focus on northern issues; land based research; land based education; decolonial feminisms; self-determination, governance and law; 2SLGBTQQIA+ issues in the north, solidarity & internationalism, and northern creative practice; and youth leadership.  


Our logo was designed by northern Tutchone artists and academic Lianne Leda Marie Charlie. 


Mahsi Cho for spending time thinking with us. 

Mahsı̀ | Mársı | Máhsı | Hąį’ | Quana | ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒦᒃ (Qujannamiik) | Quyanainni | Kinanāskomitin| Miigwech 

NAISA North Organizing Committee


Click the Links Below to View 

May 16th

May 24th


May 30th

June 6th

June 13th

Spirit Emulsion
Siku Allooloo















A woman’s connection to her mother in the spirit world reactivates Taíno culture and presence, revealing a realm unseen. Meanwhile, amidst a backdrop of flowers everywhere, an act of ancestral sovereignty extends into the future. Filmed on Super 8 and developed by hand with plant medicines, Spirit Emulsion evokes a language for Taíno filmmaking based in the earth and cosmos, breathing an ancestral connection into new form.

Written, directed, and co-produced by Siku Allooloo (Inuk/Haitian/Taíno).

Siku's Bio

Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian/Taíno writer, interdisciplinary artist and community builder from Somba K'e, Denendeh. She is an alum of Dechinta's first pilot semester, and has served as a facilitator for several semesters over the years. Siku is an artistic innovator who often reimagines conventional forms as imbued by her cultural traditions, oral history, and land-based practice. Her artwork has exhibited nationally in several groundbreaking Indigenous art exhibitions (including INUA, the inaugural exhibition at Qaumajuq-Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2021-2023). Her writing has been published nationally and internationally (The Guardian, Canadian Art Magazine, Truthout, The Capilano Review, and Chatelaine). She is also a programmer with Available Light Film Festival (2021, 2022),  imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (2021) and BlackStar Film Festival (2022).


Siku is currently leading a series of experimental and documentary film projects in honour of her mother, Marie-Hélène Laraque, and her life's work.

Think Alongside Siku (Further Media and Resources)

Film honouring Taíno activists shot on an old school camera, developed with plant medicines,

INDÍGENA trailer: The untold story of a revolutionary at the heart of the American Indian Movement and the return of a people five hundred years in the making. Feature in development. Written and Directed by Siku Allooloo (Inuk/Haitian/Taíno). Co-produced by Jessica Hallenbeck (Lantern Films) and Siku Allooloo (Akia Films).

Caribou People, Siku Allooloo

Siku Alloolo

150 Acts of Reconciliation
Crystal Gail Fraser and Sara Komarnisky

Responding to the nation-wide sesquicentennial celebrations of the colonial nation state, we published “150 Acts of Reconciliation for the Last 150 Days of Canada 150” in August 2017. This list challenged readers to take up reconciliation as an everyday practice within their homes, workplaces, and communities through specific suggestions for learning and action. Later, we created a collaborative poster project with Wolf Clan and Tagé Cho Hudän/Big River People artist Lianne Maria Leda Charlie. Since then, thousands of Canadians have taken up our list in all kinds of ways, changing hearts, minds, relationships, and structures through everyday acts of reconciliation.


Most recently, the tragic news of thousands of unmarked graves on the sites of former Indian Residential Schools in Canada made headlines internationally. The announcement in late May 2021 from the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation, and subsequent related news of more unmarked graves, rattled the foundations of this country and prompted many Canadians to rethink their relationship with Canadian history, their commitment to reconciliation, and the current state of Indigenous affairs in this country. Combined with the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we have witnessed a renewed and profound interest in reconciliatory work and our innovative and immensely popular 150 Acts of Reconciliation, including in the NWT and Yukon. We propose a series of engagements to focus on building new relationships of solidarity in the North with the aim of advancing reconciliation and encouraging Indigenous Nations to continue decolonial and self-determining work.

Facing the violence of colonialism in discussions around residential schools can be very difficult. Click here for a list of resources that are meant to assist in taking care of yourself and those around you.

Participant Bios

Dr. Crystal Gail Fraser (she/her) is Gwichyà Gwich'in and originally from Inuvik and Dachan Choo Gę̀hnjik, Northwest Territories. Her PhD thesis, T’aih k’ìighe’ tth’aih zhit dìidìch’ùh or By Strength We Are Still Here, focused on the history of student experiences at Indian Residential Schools in the Inuvik Region between 1959 and 1996. Crystal’s doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2020 John Bullen Prize by the Canadian Historical Association for her thesis and her work makes a strong contribution to how scholars engage with Indigenous research methodologies and theoretical concepts, our understanding of Indigenous histories during the second half of the twentieth century, and how northern Canada was unique in relation to the rest of the settler nation. Crystal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Classics, & Religion and the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. She is committed to community through her work with many organizations, including the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and Gwich'in Council International. With her partner and daughter, Crystal has lived on Treaty 6/Homeland of the Métis Nation since 2004.

Dr. Sara Komarnisky is a settler scholar who has over 15 years of experience with multidisciplinary and multimethod research projects grounded in community. Much of this work has been focused squarely on addressing health and wellbeing from a community level perspective to produce insightful knowledge and create policy change – from ethnography of transnational life, to material culture and archival research on hospital art and craft, to surveys about youth smoking and drinking, to community-based research to inform tuberculosis policy.  Sara is presently Research Chair, Health and Community at Aurora College in the Northwest Territories. In this role she is leading the development of an applied health research program for the NWT - working in partnership with communities, researchers, students, and policymakers to do research, share knowledge, and drive action on important issues in the territory. Sara has lived on Chief Drygeese Territory since 2018 with her partner and two children.

Think and Act Alongside Drs. Fraser and Komarnisky

150 Acts of Reconciliation for the Last 150 Days of Canada’s 150,

150 Acts of Reconciliation
Northern Youth Roundtable

Round Table: Northern Indigenous Youth Land Based Leadership

Chair: Noel-Leigh Cockney, Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning

Participants:  Kyla LeSage, Rachel Culderay, Rena Mainville, Morgan Tsetta, Kristen Tanche

In the north, young Indigenous land based practitioners and artists are leading the way in developing, delivering and advocating for Indigenous land based education.  This Round Table explores the knowledge these researchers have generated through land based practices such as hide tanning, building an Inuvialuit sod house in the Beaufort Delta, filmmaking at Łiwe Camp, traveling the rivers and lakes by canoe,  and developing and delivering community land based programming.

Participant Bios

Noel-Leigh Cockney is from Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik, Northwest Territories. His whole life he has grown up along the coast of the Arctic Ocean hunting and fishing. Once he graduated from high school in Inuvik he went to college in Wisconsin, at Northland College, for four years and graduated with a major in Outdoor Education and minor in Native American Studies. After graduating, he worked for six years for NOLS, instructing backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater canoeing courses all over the United States. He moved back home in the winter of 2018, working in tourism for over two years, before finding his current position at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning as their safety coordinator and regional programmer.


Rachel Cluderay was born and raised in Sǫǫ̀mbak’è (Yellowknife), Denendeh where she still lives today. She is a nêhiyaw-English paddler and land-based program advocate. In 2019, she completed a Bachelor of Commerce specializing in entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria. Rachel also has a certificate in Land-Based Research from Dechinta/ UBC. Currently, Rachel is studying a Masters of Indigenous Land-Based Education at the University of Saskatchewan where her work focuses on developing a canoe training from an Indigenous paradigm. Being on the Land makes Rachel feel whole. This is why she is passionate about strengthening peoples connection to Land as she believes it is the foundation for the resurgence of Indigenous cultures, languages, and ways of being.


Kyla LeSage is Vuntut Gwitchin from Old Crow, Yukon, and Anishinaabe from Garden River, Ontario. She grew up on Chief Drygeese Territory in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Kyla is a Dechinta Alumni where she received credits toward her UBC Degree in Political Science and Indigenous Studies. She now works full time for Dechinta as the land based academic and regional outreach coordinator.


Kristen Tanche is Łıı́d́lıı̨̨Kųę́ ́First Nation, Dehcho Dene from Łıı́d́lıı̨ K̨ ųę́ ́/Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories. She was raised in Southern Canada and the Northwest Territories. As a young adult, she returned to her Mother’s home community of Łıı́d́lıı̨̨Kųę́ ́/Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, to re-connect with her family, community, and Dene culture. Kristen is an alumni of Dechinta, the Aurora College Social Work Program, and the Jane Glassco Northern fellowship. Kristen currently works in health and wellness for her regional Indigenous Government Organization, Dehcho First Nations. Kristen is passionate about the North’s well-being and people in her community and region.


Rena Mainville is Sahtu Dene and Metis from Tulita in the Northwest Territories, born and raised in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Rena has a Bachelor of Early Childhood Care and Education from Capilano University, Rena also took Indigenous Studies at Langara College and works full time as a Land-Based Educator with Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning. Rena also lends her voice as a Junior Advisor to the Arctic Athabaskan Council and collaborates with the First Nations Pedagogy Network. Rena passionately advocates for culturally safe Indigenous land based learning and language revitalization for Indigenous children, families and communities.


Morgan Tsetta is a Yellowknives Dene First Nation filmmaker and photographer, currently living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Watuth Nations, colonially referred to as Vancouver, Canada. With a passion for film, photography, and her Native culture, Morgan is committed to emphasizing the voices of Dene people and the power of self-representation for Indigenous sovereignty. After graduating film school, Morgan began work with Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning as their Digital Media Coordinator to connect with her sub-arctic home community in Denendeh and her Dene culture whilst simultaneously continuing her documentary filmmaking career.

Learn more about the work of these panelists:

Learn more about Dene Zhatie in the Dehcho region from Dehcho First Nations, in this video and booklet project, Titled “Nahenáhodhe” – Our way of life


See Kristen paddling the Dehcho in “I Hold the Dehcho in My Heart / Sedze Tah Dehcho E’Toh”,


See Morgan’s film on fish camp, and Kyla’s land based coordinating in “Łiwe Camp: Fishing and Governance on Dene Land”


Read more about Rena’s work with children and youth:


Read Rachel, Noel, Kristen and Kyla in Ndè Sı̀ı̀ Wet’aɂà: Northern Indigenous Voices on Land, Life & Art and watch for our NAISA North book panel.


See a short video of Noel’s sod house building

The Sod House Workshop at Galiptut with Noel-Leigh Cockney
Noel-Leigh Cockney, Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning






Dechinta NAISA North virtual presents: A Rough Cut on the construction of the Sod House at Galiptut with Noel Cockney. Produced by the Inuvialuit Communications Society and the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning.

The Sod House

Land as Art: Creative Research in Land-Based Materiality and Concepts

Tania Willard (BUSH Gallery, UBCO), Chair, Jade Kablusiak Carpenter, Tanya Lukin Linklater (Queen’s University), Maureen Gruben












Indigenous contemporary art practice often highlights relationships to land, territory and home, within more than a context of being place-based Indigenous territory and the ways in which artists draw upon it from the material to the performative and conceptual, these artists discuss the specificity of the North as home, land and territory and draw out these relationships in their work and research.

Participant Bios

Tania Willard, of Secwépemc and settler heritage, works within the shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Public Art projects include, Rule of the Trees, a public art project at Commercial Broadway sky train station, in Vancouver BC and If the Drumming Stops, with artist Peter Morin, on the lands of the Papaschase First Nation in Edmonton, AB. Willard’s ongoing collaborative project BUSH gallery, is a conceptual land-based gallery grounded in Indigenous knowledges and relational art practices. Willard is an assistant professor at UBCO, her current research constructs a land rights aesthetic through intuitive archival acts.

Kablusiak is an Inuvialuk artist and curator based in Calgary. Born in Yellowknife and raised in Edmonton, they received a diploma in Fine Art from Grant MacEwan University in 2013 and completed their Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Drawing Department at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in 2016 [1]. They recently completed the Indigenous Curatorial Research Practicum at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, were a previous member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective and are also part of the inaugural all-Inuit curatorial team for the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Qaumajuq, which opened in March 2021.


Kablusiak uses art and humour as a coping mechanism to subtly address diaspora, and to openly address mental illness; the lighthearted nature of their practice extends gestures of empathy and solidarity. These interests invite a reconsideration of the perceptions of contemporary indigeneity and counter the stigma surrounding mental health. Since graduating, Kablusiak has been heavily involved in Calgary's art scene; they have made work for Femme Wave (The Garden, 2016), Sled Island (Group, 2017), Contemporary Calgary (Oki Y'all, 2017) and are a board member of Stride Gallery since 2016. Recent awards include the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and the inaugural Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires Emerging Artist Award in 2018 [2]. Kablusiak was also shortlisted for the 2019 Sobey Art Award and the 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award. Their work has appeared in multiple issues of Inuit Art Quarterly, including on the cover of the Spring 2022 Break Up issue. They are represented by Jarvis Hall Gallery in Calgary, AB.


Tanya Lukin Linklater’s performances, works for camera, installations, and writings centre histories of Indigenous peoples’ lives, lands, and structures of sustenance. Her performances in relation to objects in exhibition, scores, and ancestral belongings generate what she has come to call felt structures. In 2022 she is participating in the Aichi Triennale and the Toronto Biennial of Art. Tanya’s work has been shown at the 2021 New Museum Triennial, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019, Art Gallery of Ontario, and elsewhere. Tanya studied at University of Alberta (M.Ed.) and Stanford University (A.B. Honours). She is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen's University. In 2021 she received the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Visual Art.  Her Alutiiq/Sugpiaq homelands are in southwestern Alaska where much of her family continues to live. She is a member of the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions. She lives and works in northern Ontario, Canada. 


Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben employs an intimate materiality. In her practice, polar bear fur, beluga intestines and seal skins encounter resins, vinyl, bubble wrap and metallic tape, forging critical links between life in the Western Arctic and global environmental and cultural concerns. Gruben was born and raised in Tuktoyaktuk where her parents were traditional knowledge keepers and founders of E. Gruben’s Transport. She holds a BFA from the University of Victoria and has exhibited regularly across Canada and internationally. She was longlisted for the 2019 Aesthetica Art Prize and the 2021 Sobey Art Prize, and her work is held in national and private collections.

Expand Your Thinking

Maureen Gruben




Tania Willard


Provocation #4:


Tanya Lukin Linklater


Tanya Lukin Linklater in conversation with Michael Nardone Volume 4 MTL Art:



Land as art

Sound Relations: Native Ways of Doing Music History in Alaska

Jessica Bissett Perea, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor, Department of Native American Studies, University of California

Sound Relations delves into histories of Inuit musical life in Alaska to register the significance of sound as integral to self-determination and sovereignty. Offering radical and relational ways of listening to Inuit performances across a range of genres--from hip hop to Christian hymnody and traditional drumsongs to funk and R&B --author Jessica Bissett Perea registers how a density (not difference) of Indigenous ways of musicking from a vast archive of presence sounds out entanglements between structures of Indigeneity and colonialism. This work dismantles stereotypical understandings of "Eskimos," "Indians," and "Natives" by addressing the following questions: What exactly is "Native" about Native music? What does it mean to sound (or not sound) Native? Who decides? And how can in-depth analyses of Native music that center Indigeneity reframe larger debates of race, power, and representation in twenty-first century American music historiography? Instead of proposing singular truths or facts, this book invites readers to consider the existence of multiple simultaneous truths, a density of truths, all of which are culturally constructed, performed, and in some cases politicized and policed. Native ways of doing music history engage processes of sound worlding that envision otherwise, beyond nation-state notions of containment and glorifications of Alaska as solely an extraction site for U.S. settler capitalism, and instead amplifies possibilities for more just and equitable futures.

About the Artist

Dr. Jessica Bissett Perea (Dena’ina) is an interdisciplinary musician-scholar whose Indigenous-led and Indigeneity-centered work advances radical and relational ways of being, knowing, and doing to generate more just futures for Indigenous communities. Her current projects include co-directing the “Radical and Relational Approaches to Food Fermentation and Food Security” project, which is supported by an international partnership with researchers from Ilisimatusarfik Kalaallit Nunaat (Nuuk, Greenland), and co-convening an Asia-Pacific Indigenous Studies seminar in partnership with researchers from Universiti Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Dr. Bissett is an Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor, Department of Native American Studies, University of California.

Read the Book HERE

sound relations

Itqaqhaijuq / Tries to Remember

Tiffany Ayalik



During her six-month residency at Western Front, Ayalik developed a new body of work revitalizing the songs of her Inuinnait ancestors and community. She studied a collection of songs that were transcribed, notated, and documented through wax cylinder recordings by the anthropologist Diamond Jenness during the 1913-18 Canadian Arctic Expedition, and worked with Inuinnait elders to further her understanding of the language. Using multi-channel audio and live vocal performance, she reinterpreted six songs as a new 30-minute composition. In collaboration with the artist T. Erin Gruber, who created projected images inspired by the changing seasons and the natural environment of the North, for Itqaqhaijuq / Tries to Remember Ayalik has created an affecting immersive environment. Through the work, Ayalik hopes to provide a possible pathway to embolden others to reclaim and relearn languages that could soon be lost. 

About the Artist

Tiffany Ayalik is an Inuk performer from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, and was born and raised in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. Combining knowledge learned from her elders with her work as an actor and singer, Tiffany creates unique and powerful performances that include theatre, storytelling, music, and education. Tiffany produces film and TV with her producing partner Caroline Cox and their company, Copper Quartz Media, and produces music with her sister Inuksuk Mackay as the duo PIQSIQ.

Learn More:


Indigenous Internationalisms and Solidarity 

Chairs: Michelle Daigle + Uahikea Maile, University of Toronto

Participants: May Farrales, Simon Fraser University; Kāneali’i Williams; Riley Yesno, University of Toronto; Ciann L. Wilson, Wilfred Laurier University



This panel brings together scholars/organizers to discuss world building for anti-colonial futures. Each panelist will reflect on the community practices and organizing they are engaged in, followed by a discussion on solidarity-building across Indigenous, Black, POC and anti-colonial communities on local and global scales.   

About the Panelists

Michelle Daigle is Mushkegowuk (Cree), a member of Constance Lake First Nation in Treaty 9, and of French ancestry. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto with a cross-appointment in the Department of Geography and Planning and the Centre for Indigenous Studies. Drawing on collaborations with Indigenous communities and organizations, her research examines Indigenous resurgence and freedom amid the global conditions of colonial capitalist violence. Her current project focuses on the renewal of Indigenous relations of care that emerge through Mushkegowuk waterways, and how an ethics of care informs conceptions of anti-colonial relationalities. Over the past several years, she has also collaborated with Dr. Magie Ramirez, in an effort to build grounded theorizations of decolonial geographies across Indigenous, Black, Latinx and anti-colonial communities.  


May Farrales is a queer Filipinx who lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Sel̓íl̓witulh peoples where she works as an assistant professor in the departments of Geography and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is currently working with the Filipinx community on the unceded territories of the Lheidli T'enneh in so-called Prince George, BC. Their work strives to encourage recently arrived immigrants of colour to build respectful, responsible, and reciprocal relationships with the Indigenous peoples on whose lands they work and live on. May hopes to stretch Filipinx diaspora studies to be in meaningful dialogue with Critical Indigenous Studies and Black geographies.


Uahikea Maile is a Kanaka Maoli scholar, activist, and practitioner from Maunawili, Oʻahu. He is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, St. George. He’s also an Affiliate Faculty in the Centre for Indigenous Studies and Centre for the Study of the United States. Maile’s research interests include: history, law, and activism on Hawaiian sovereignty; Indigenous critical theory; settler colonialism; political economy; feminist and queer theories; and decolonization. His book manuscript, Nā Makana Ea: Settler Colonial Capitalism and the Gifts of Sovereignty in Hawaiʻi, examines the historical development and contemporary formation of settler colonial capitalism in Hawai‘i and gifts of sovereignty that seek to overturn it by issuing responsibilities for balancing relationships with ‘āina, the land and that who feeds.


Kāneali’i Williams, MBA, is a diasporic Kanaka Maoli born and raised within the continental United States. After completing his master degree, he began the process of reclaiming, rematriating, and restoring some of his ancestral lands located in Kuiaha, Ha’ikū, Maui, Hawaiian Kingdom by asserting his ‘ohana (family) land claim through kuleana rights associated with Māhele allodial land titles and seeking the end of corporate water theft from his stream, a story featured in a short film documented by AlJazeera+. His process has been guided by other genealogical descendants of Maui from various parts of the island who have experienced or are experiencing the same struggle against displacement as well as has had assistance from non-genealogical comrades. He currently is a mahi’ai (farmer) and also continues to do mo’okū’auhau (genealogy) research to inspire more Kanaka Maoli who have been displaced, whether residing on island or share the diasporic experience, to return back to the homeland by learning about their genealogical land claims and assert their kuleana rights.


Ciann L. Wilson is an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has extensive experience in consulting, advocacy and community development related to Black and Indigenous health promotion and evaluation. My interdisciplinary research program addresses the multi-faceted and complex drivers that impact the overall health and wellbeing of Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities. My research program consists of community-based research (CBR) projects that utilize evidence-based, arts, and media-based approaches to elucidate community perspectives on their own health and wellbeing, as well as, affirm their self-determination as free and free-thinking peoples in the face of colonial violence that thrives on our bondage. 


Riley Yesno (she/her) is queer Anishinaabe from Eabametoong First Nation. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto's Department of Political Science where she is a Vanier Scholar. In addition to her scholarship, she has travelled the world public speaking and has been published and featured in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, New York Times, and many others. Riley is a commentator with national news and is a fellow at several institutions. Her work is inspired by Indigenous people, youth, and land and water defenders everywhere.

Indigenous Internationalisms

The Land is Queer: Community, Collective, and Land-Oriented Approaches to Indigenous Queer Theory, Life and Politics 

Sydney Krill (Dechinta Centre) and Ryan Crosschild (University of Calgary), (Co-Chairs), Sarah Hunt (University of Victoria), Alex Wilson (University of Saskatchewan)



In the summer of 2020, Dechinta hosted a panel on the topic of ‘queering Indigenous land-based education’ with a group of young Indigenous activists, academics, and community workers. One of the most notable outcomes of the last panel was a discussion that was grounded in the work and lives of the participants themselves, who talked about how queer theory and queerness is actualized in their work on the land and in their communities. In this proposed NAISA panel, we are primarily interested in continuing to move beyond overly-theoretical or literary discussions of two spirit and queer Indigenous life, and towards a more practical application of Indigenous queer theory that is community, collective, and land oriented.   

About the Panelists

Sarah Hunt: Sarah is Kwakwaka’wakw – Kwagu’ł through her paternal grandfather Chief Henry Hunt, and Dzawada’enuxw through her grandmother Helen Hunt (Nelson) – and is also Ukrainian and English through her maternal grandparents. She has spent most of her life as a guest in Lekwungen territories. Prior to joining UVic, Sarah was an Assistant Professor at UBC for five years in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and Department of Geography. Building on more than two decades of work on justice, violence, gender, health, and self-determination, Sarah’s current SSHRC-funded research seeks to create new understandings of justice across the nested scales of lands/waters, homes and bodies via engagement of coastal peoples’ embodied knowledge and land-based cultural practice. Indigenous scholars, activists and communities have advanced a deep interrelation between the governance of Indigenous lands and bodies, calling for research into questions of justice that pushes beyond colonial framings to account for these interconnected scales of life. Collaboratively, Sarah is working on a number of initiatives seeking to advance the restoration of Indigenous peoples’ jurisdiction over their lands and lives, with particular focus on the upholding the authority of coastal women.


Alex Wilson: Alex Wilson is Neyonawak Inniniwak from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She is a professor with the Department of Educational Foundations and the Academic Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed her BA (Psychology) from California State University, Sacramento in 1994; her EdM (Human Development and Psychology: Psycho-social and Cultural Development) from Harvard University in 1995; and an EdD (Human Development and Psychology) from Harvard University in 2007. Dr. Wilson’s scholarship has greatly contributed to building and sharing knowledge about two spirit identity, history and teachings, Indigenous research methodologies, and the prevention of violence in the lives of Indigenous peoples. Her current projects include two spirit and Indigenous Feminisms research: Two-Spirit identity development and “Coming In” theory that impact pedagogy and educational policy; studies on two spirit people and homelessness; and an International study on Indigenous land-based education.


Ryan Crosschild: Ryan Crosschild is Blackfoot from the Kainaiwa (Blood Tribe) and a member of the Fish Eaters Clan and Grey Horse Society. He identifies as Aakiinaa which is a queer Blackfoot gender variant. He is currently completing his PhD in Political Science at the University of Calgary where he studies Indigenous (Blackfoot/ Siksikaitsitapi) ways of knowing/being with an interest in understanding Indigiqueer standpoints on inter-being resurgence and relationality. He is also a research assistant with the Prairie Relationality Network, an Indigenous led research group that supports projects on Indigenous kinship relations, Indigenous gender and sexuality, land and water-based education, Indigenous diplomacies, Indigenous political orders, community engaged research, community leadership, self-determination and sovereignty.


Sydney Krill: Sydney is a settler who was raised in Calgary, Alberta on Treaty 7 territory. During her Master’s degree at the University of Calgary, she focused on gendering and queering how we understand settler colonial power in Canada, with the belief that when settler women, gender-diverse, and queer individuals are aware of their ongoing role in the colonization of Canada, they can do the necessary work of creating informed and accountable movements, relationships, and politics that centre the dismantling of settler colonialism. She started her PhD at the University of Victoria in Political Science in 2019 but left the program in 2021 to join the team at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning in Yellowknife. As a curriculum developer and researcher, Sydney works to create various resources for students, the community, and for the public that are informed by the brilliant land-based work happening in the North. In particular, she is passionate about creating resources and curriculum that centre Indigenous queer, two-spirit, and LGTBQ+ individuals, in order to create an inclusive Indigenous learning environment that accepts and encourages all forms of gender and sexual diversity, and to mobilize and uplift queer Indigenous land-based knowledge, theory, and practices in the North and beyond.

Further Resources

Queering Indigenous Land Based Education Webinar


Dechinta Gender Tool Kit


You are Made of Medicine Peer Support Manual for Indigiqueer, Indigiqueer, Two-Spirit, LGBTQ+, and Gender Non-Conforming Indigenous youth


Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies


Briarpatch Magazine, The Land Back Issue

Land is Queer

Book Panel: Ndè Sıı̀ ̀ Wet’aɂà: Northern Indigneous Voices on Land, Life and Art

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Dechinta), Kyla LeSage (Dechinta), Thumlee Drybones-Foliot (Dechinta), Christina Gray, Rachel Cluderay (Dechinta/University of Saskatchewan), Jasmine Vogt



At the heart of this collection of northern Indigenous essays, interviews, short stories, and poetry, is the voices of Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, and Queer creators, each reflecting a deep love of Indigenous cultures, languages, homelands, and the north. Ndè Sı̀ı̀ Wet’aɂà: Northern Indigenous Voices on Land, Life & Art breaks ground by sharing a wealth of Dene (Gwich’in, Sahtú, Dehcho, Tłı̨chǫ, Saysi, Kaska, Dënesųłiné, Wıìlıìdeh) Inuit, Alutiiq, Inuvialuit, Métis, Nêhiyawak (Cree), Northern Tutchone, and Tanana Athabascan creative brilliance centred on land, cultural practice, and northern life.

Forthcoming from ARP Books, June 2022.ɂa/

About the Panelists

Kyla LeSage is Vuntut Gwitchin from Old Crow, Yukon, and Anishinaabe from Garden River, Ontario. She grew up on Chief Drygeese Territory in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Kyla is a Dechinta Alumni where she received credits toward her UBC Degree in Political Science and Indigenous Studies. She now works full time for Dechinta as the land based academic and regional outreach coordinator.


Thumlee Drybones-Foliot is the daughter of Aileen Drybones and Anthony Foliot. As a child, she lived on a houseboat, played on Great Slave Lake, and walked up the hill to school. Thumlee’s Mother grew up living on the land with her grandparents Madeline and Noel Drybones at Fort Reliance and she was very lucky to see them live a traditional Dene life. Her Mother took her hunting, and she would watch her grandmother tan hides, bead and sew. After finishing high school, Thumlee worked at a number of little jobs, traveled and then went to Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning where she had a place to hone her skills. At present, Thumlee works part time at Dechinta and full time as a Mother. In July 2019, she had a daughter named Katche Alexandra, who at the present time is the centre of her universe.


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, musician, and member of Alderville First Nation. She is the author of seven previous books, including A Short History of the Blockade, and the novel Noopiming: A Cure for White Ladies which was released in the United States in 2021 by the University of Minnesota Press. Leanne has released four albums including f(l)ight and Noopiming Sessions, and the Polaris short-listed Theory of Ice. Her latest book is co-authored with Robyn Maynard and entitled Rehearsals for Living. Leanne is a board member and a Faculty member at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning. She served as a mentor and editor on this project.


Christina Gray is a Ts’msyen and Dene citizen. She is an associate at JFK Law Corporation where she practices in the area of Aboriginal law. She is currently completing her Master of Law at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on issues of gender within the Ts’msyen legal tradition. She has a law and art history degree from the University of British Columbia.


Jasmine Vogt is Tetlit Gwich’in and Sahtú Dene from Tetlit Zheh (Fort McPherson). She was raised in Somba’ Ke on Chief Drygeese Territory. Jasmine has completed two semesters with Dechinta on Indigenous Self-Determination with the University of Alberta and Community and Land-Based Research with the University of British Columbia. Since Dechinta, she has been studying and working toward her bachelor’s degree in Indigenous Studies with the University of Alberta while also working full time with Environment and Natural Resources. Jasmine loves to bead and sew, travel, and spend time on the land with her son, Kurtis. As a young Indigenous woman and Mother, Jasmine has faced many obstacles and continues to overcome hardships by connecting to culture and having a strong relationship with the land. She continues to persevere with resilience and hopes to one day use her hardships as a way to help and give back to the community in a traditional, cultural, and healthy way.

Book panel

Northern Indigenous Fashion & Resurgence 

Riley Kucheron (Ryerson University), Krista Ulujuk Zawadski (Carleton University), Kaylyn Baker, Natasha Peter, Jean Marshall, Vashti Etzel 



Indigenous Fashion continues to gain momentum and make appearances in mainstream spaces from the MET Gala to the pages of Vogue and on international runways, while Indigenous-led businesses, fashion weeks, festivals, entrepreneurship incubators, residencies, and retail stores are appearing across Turtle Island. Fashion is a generative space for Resurgence: the remembering and revitalization of Indigenous ways of being that are required for decolonization. When fashion is created with Indigenous worldviews, based on teachings like respect and reciprocity, grounded in land-based practices, and embedded in strong relations it mobilizes communities towards their goals. Northern Indigenous fashion presents unique opportunities for resurgence and decolonization, so this panel will feature [five] designers from different regions to discuss their practice.

About the Panelists

Riley Kucheran is an assistant professor in Fashion at Ryerson University. As an Indigenous fashion researcher and academic he supports a global community of Indigenous makers who are leading design  resurgence.  Riley’s  experience  in  fashion  retail  and  entrepreneurship  and  his  knowledge  of Indigenous theory has led him to see fashion as a powerful tool for decolonization. Indigenous design is sustainable because it relies on communities to collectively make clothing in a respectful and reciprocal way.  Riley  bridges  Indigenous  methodology  with  research  in  the  creative  industries  and  fashion management while connecting industry partners to communities in mutually beneficial ways. He also has responsibilities in his own community, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, and is currently completing a PhD with them about how Indigenous creative industries, like fashion, can mobilize cultural and economic resurgence. Riley is a past Dechinta alumni and academic coordinator.


Krista Ulujuk Zawadski is from Igluligaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet) and Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. She identifies as an Inuk curator, anthropologist, arts leader, researcher, scholar and writer. Her areas of expertise are Arctic anthropology, collections-based research, storywork, Inuit curatorial research and practice. Krista’s outlook, research and work are deeply rooted in her upbringing in Nunavut, and she feels it reflects in many aspects of her work.


Kaylyn Baker is a proud Northern Tutchone and Tlingit woman from the Yukon. A member of the Raven Clan and a citizen of Selkirk First Nation, Kaylyn now calls Whitehorse home. Kaylyn developed an early interest in the visual arts including painting, photography, and pottery. When her mother, Charlene Baker, was a student at Emily Carr University and the University of Alaska Southeast, Kaylyn attended classes with her and occasionally participated. These experiences enriched her understanding of different visual art mediums. Today, Kaylyn is an avid beader, using a variety of materials and textiles, and drawing on the principals of visual art to create her own designs. In addition to making jewellery, Kaylyn’s beadwork adorns garments and accessories, including mukluks, moccasins, and purses. Beading allows Kaylyn to connect with her ancestors—her mother, grandmothers, and great grandmothers all beaded—as well as with her peers and her children. Beading is a form of storytelling, a way to pass along traditions and knowledge to future generations. In addition to showing her kids the good things that come from following their dreams, Kaylyn hopes through her beadwork and sharing her sewing skills to inspire other Indigenous people who may have lost touch with their traditions as a result of residential school.


Natasha Peter is an emerging fashion designer originally from Ross River and the creator of Kaska Dena Designs.


Jean Marshall is of Ahnishnaabe/English descent, born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is a band member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib, also known as Big Trout Lake, Treaty 9. She currently lives along the shore of Lake Superior. Jean has been practicing professionally as a visual artist for the past 15 years. She is primarily known for her work with beads and textiles. As a child, she was surrounded by beadwork. The value of craftsmanship, quality and the importance of using her hands was instilled at a young age. Unknowingly, she absorbed skill, colour, design, pattern and techniques to be used later in life. This lasting admiration grew into her present day practice, becoming a beadwork & leatherworker. She does this full time now and works for herself.


Vashti Etzel is a proud member of the Ross River Dena council and is a Shuhta Dene and Kaska Dene member. Vashti currently resides on unceded traditional territory of Kaska Dene, Faro Yukon. She is an established artist and designer who enjoys creating Indigenous wearable art and Statement jewelry. She has been exploring with prints of her beadwork and creating home decor items and will eventually start fabric prints to create ready to wear garments. Vashti was inspired at a young age to carry on traditional knowledge and her cultural way of being. And by doing so she incorporates those teachings into her art pieces. Her art practice is a form of decolonization and a way to empower Indigenous people. She manifests ancestral healing energy with the creation of her adornments and wearable art. Vashti’s art has traveled across the world and has been selected for the Yukon permanent arts collection, and various exhibitions across turtle island. She plans to expand her business “Golden Eye Designs” and wishes to mentor members of Indigenous northern communities and to hire seasonal help. 

Learn More


Indigenous Fashionology (NATIVE CLOTHING) with Riley Kucheran


Sungaujait: The Links Between Inuit and Venetians, 2019. Special online publication with Inuit Art Quarterly.


Dene woman makes earrings like you've never seen before,


Entrepreneur Docu-Series: Kaska Dena Designs,


Kaylyn Baker Designs,


Indigenous Fashion Arts —Jean Marshall,

Indg fashion

Creating Community Connections Through Youth-Led Programming in the Western Arctic

Alyssa Carpenter, Bobbie Rose Koe, Megan Lennie, Corrine Bullock, Kaila Jefford-Moore



The Western Arctic Youth Collective (WAYC) is created by Inuvialuit and Gwich’in youth for youth with connections to the Western Arctic. WAYC strives to create opportunities to prepare and support on-going development to improve the lives of Indigenous youth ages 18-35. The purpose of this collective is to empower our Indigenous youth to be changemakers by providing a platform of youth-led collaborative initiatives and partnerships in their communities and with other like-minded groups in other northern regions. The Western Arctic Youth Collective is a project on MakeWay’'s Charitable Society shared platform, which provides operational supports, governance, and charitable expertise for changemakers. In 2020, WAYC was one of the Arctic Inspiration Prize youth laureates.


Meet the WAYC Team

Alyssa Carpenter was born and raised in the Western Arctic region of the Northwest Territories and identifies as Inuvialuit, Gwich'in, and Dene. She is a northern social worker that currently resides in Whitehorse, Yukon with her partner and daughter and that is currently enrolled at the Masters of Social Work in Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency. A majority of her work experience is within the non-profit sector, working with various levels of government in both the Yukon and Northwest Territories, working primarily with Indigenous people and northern Indigenous youth. She is the leading founder and Project Director of the Western Arctic Youth Collective, a Laureate of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Youth Category for 2020. Currently, she is a Jane Glassco Fellow that is focusing on youth engagement strategies within wellness and suicide prevention initiatives in her home region and is one of the youth representatives of Pauktuutit board of directors.


Corrine Bullock (she/her) is an Inuvialuit from Inuuvik/Inuvik, NT. She joins the Western Arctic Youth Collective (WAYC) as staff following a term as a WAYC Steering Committee member during inception in 2020-2021. A lifelong resident of the Beaufort Delta she brings with her a multidisciplinary background and passion for community engagement and knowledge sharing. Possessing a red seal certification in a recognized trade and experience in both frontline services and program administration, she attributes much of her skill building to willing and supportive teachers. Corrine views mentorship as a valuable asset that can be utilized across communities to foster action, empowerment and belonging. A wife and mother of 3 actively learning and growing alongside her young family, she aspires to focus her energy and talents to nurture relationships and initiatives that offer open and inclusive spaces for intergenerational healing and reclamation of language, culture and identity.


Megan Lennie is an Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) beneficiary, originally born and raised in Inuvik, NT. She is now residing in the hamlet of Aklavik, NT. Megan graduated from East Three Secondary school in 2014 and continued her studies at Emily Carr University for Visual Arts. She then completed the diploma program in Adventure Studies from Thompson Rivers University. Following her graduation in 2018, Megan moved back to the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, taking on the position as a Heritage Interpreter for Parks Canada. After four years in the Tourism Industry, Megan made the decision to transfer into the Health & Wellness Division for the Inuvialuit Region Corporation. This is where she found her passion for Land-Based learning and Cultural Revitalization within the Western Arctic. Megan now, proudly wears many hats as a Land-Based Program Coordinator for a variety of organizations within the ISR. These organizations include the Western Arctic Youth Collective, Project Jewel, and Dechinta Research Learning Centre.


Kaila Jefferd-Moore is a Haida and Canadian journalist and communications consultant. She was born within Snuneymuxw territory in what is known as British Columbia, and raised in Inuuvik, on Gwich’in and Inuvialuit lands.  After graduating from East Three Secondary School in 2013, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from the University of King’s College in 2019, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Dalhousie Gazette  and began her freelance career. She’s had stints and bylines with local and national outlets such as Inuvik Drum (NNSL), CBC North (Yellowknife and Whitehorse), Maisonneuve, THIS Magazine, Up Here, and more. She owns and operates Kaila JM Consulting across Denendeh and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, offering strategic communications consulting and training. She is also an Associate Editor with IndigiNews, an in-house Storyteller with the Western Arctic Youth Collective, and produces freelance journalism projects.


Bobbi Rose Koe vilzhii, Teetl’it Gwich’in ihtii, Shitsuu Kat Rosemary chan ts’at Dorothy Alexie giinlii, Shitsii kat Abraham Koe chan ts’at Robert Alexie Sr giinlii. I was raised by my grandparents Rosemary & Abraham Koe, Dorothy & Robert Alexie Sr, and the community of Teetl'it Zheh. Starting at a young age, I started travelling throughout the Gwich'in Country, and learned quickly about the Gwich'in way of life and instantly it brought me to life; the culture, traditions, values, stories, history & most of all the people. I am always learning & love to teach with anyone who wants to learn. This is the way I was raised- To continue to share what we have when we can, where we can. The Western Arctic Youth Collective aligns its values with the hearts and minds of Indigenous youth and communities in the North. I am very proud to work with, and for WAYC.

Learn More


there will be a time coming when all we can do is guide from the other side and wish to see the care tacked down through many hours carry

Jeneen Frei Njootli + Sophia Flather 


Video coming soon!

This collaborative film between Jeneen Frei Njootli and Sophia Flather was created in lieu of an artist talk and performance at the Elk's Lodge in Whitehorse last fall that was cancelled due to Covid-19. All music is shared through Jeneen and it was filmed in their traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin. Mahsi cho to Dechinta for the opportunity to share some thoughts and sounds. 


Meet the Artists

Jeneen Frei Njootli is an Indigiqueer Vuntut Gwitchin artist and Na'aa w Dutch, Czech and Jewish ancestry. They moved back to their homelands two winters ago and are working on art, nesting, writing, rough carpentry, and compositions in Old Crow, Yukon. The New Museum in New York recently exhibited their work as part of the Triennial: Soft Water Hard Stone. They are a professor in the Art History, Visual Art + Theory department at the University of British Columbia.


Sophia Flather is of Gwich’in, British, and Scottish ancestry and lives in her home territory of the Van Tat Gwich’in. She works in language revitalization with Vuntut Gwitchin Government. Lately, Sophia has been raising her 20 month old son. Sophia is passionate about living Gwich’in traditions and loves to be outdoors, creating, cooking, harvesting and the like.


Close to our hearts: Inuit Values and Creative Practice

Siku Allooloo + Asinnajaq



A conversation between Asinnajaq and Siku Allooloo about the importance of how their Inuit values guide how they work together and support one another as artists. 


Meet the Artists

Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian/Taíno writer, interdisciplinary artist and community builder from Somba K'e, Denendeh. She is an alum of Dechinta's first pilot semester, and has served as a facilitator for several semesters over the years. Siku is an artistic innovator who often reimagines conventional forms as imbued by her cultural traditions, oral history, and land-based practice. Her artwork has exhibited nationally in several groundbreaking Indigenous art exhibitions (including INUA, the inaugural exhibition at Qaumajuq-Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2021-2023). Her writing has been published nationally and internationally (The Guardian, Canadian Art Magazine, Truthout, The Capilano Review, and Chatelaine). She is also a programmer with Available Light Film Festival (2021, 2022),  imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (2021) and BlackStar Film Festival (2022).Siku is currently leading a series of experimental and documentary film projects in honour of her mother, Marie-Hélène Laraque, and her life's work.


Asinnajaq is an Inuk visual artist, filmmaker, writer, and curator based in Montreal, Quebec, and from Inukjuak, Nunavik. Asinnajaq’s practice is grounded in research and collaboration, which includes working with other artists, friends, and family. In 2016 she worked with the National Film Board of Canada’s archive to source historical and contemporary Inuit films and colonial representations of Inuit in film. The footage she pulled is included in her short film Three Thousand (2017). The film was nominated for Best Short Documentary at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Asinnajaq was a part of the curatorial team for the Canadian Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale and was long listed for the prestigious Sobey Art Award in April 2020.

Learn More

Asinnajaq ,


Siku Allooloo,


ᐊᓯᓐᓇᐃᔭᖅ Asinnajaq, Many voices walking together. Ndè Sı̀ı̀ Wet’aɂà, Forthcoming June 2022 ARP Press


In conversation with Asinnajaq & Siku Allooloo,


Three Thousand, (Inuktitut version)


qaummatitsiniq nunarjuamit qaujimajakkanik, Lighting up the World with my Knowledge


Spirit Emulsion (Trailer),

close to hearts

Siida School – Community Driven Renewal of Sámi Siida System

Rauna Kuokkanen, University of Lapland (Chair), Oula-Antti Labba (Siida School), Aslak Holmberg (Siida School)



This collaborative project by Sámi scholars, artists and activists seeks to reconstruct and simulate how and which Siida practices could operate as part of Sámi governance structures today. The project aims at decolonizing Sámi society through reclaiming and reengaging with the traditional Sámi siida system and its concomitant laws and practices. The objective is to generate novel interdisciplinary, artistic, political and cultural knowledge about the traditional Sámi governance structures, practices and values and the ways in which they can be practiced in contemporary settings. The project is called a Siida School in recognition of the fact that considering the ongoing colonization, our individual knowledge of the siida system is limited; hence we are all both learners and teachers of one another. The project will produce scholarly, artistic and performative knowledge, including a podcast series and a web archive for the use of Sámi society.


Participant Bios

Aslak Holmberg has for the past decade worked with Sámi and indigenous issues through Sámi NGO:s, the Sámi parliament in Finland, as well as through activism and academia. For the past five years he has been a vice president of the Saami Council, and is a former Member of the Sámi Parliament in Finland. He is a fisher, teacher and holds a master’s degree in Indigenous studies. Currently he works with indigenous knowledge, research ethics, and indigenous peoples’ rights.


Oula-Antti Labba is a Sámi from Eanodat in the Finnish part of Sápmi (Saamiland). Labba is a lawyer specialised in Human Rights issues. He currently works as a lawyer in the Human Rights Unit of the Saami Council. He has previously worked at the Saami Parliament in Finland and at Minority Rights Group International, a Human Rights organization based in London, UK.


Dr. Rauna Kuokkanen is a Sámi woman and research professor of Arctic Indigenous Studies at the University of Lapland. Her most recent book is triply awarded Restructuring Relations: Indigenous Self-Determination, Governance and Gender (OUP 2019). Dr. Kuokkanen’s research focuses on comparative Indigenous politics, Indigenous feminist theory, governance, law and Nordic settler colonialism. Currently she leads the Siida School project, a community driven, collaborative project to reclaim and reconstruct Sámi governance practices and principles for today’s needs.

Learn More

Siida School —A Community Driven Renewal of Sámi Siida System,

Siida School

We Have Our Footsteps Everywhere

Lianne Marie Leda Charlie, Josh Baricello, Amos Dick, Norman Sterria, Dorothy Smith, Mary Maje



Amos Dick, Norman Sterriah, Dorothy Smith and Mary Maje from the Ross River Dena Elder's Council explain why they did not sign a land claim and why they won't sell the land, in the Dena way.


Film Bios

Amos Dick, Norman Sterriah, Dorothy Smith and Mary Maje are Kaska Elders from the Ross River Dena Elders Council. 


Josh Barichello is a kuskāni dena (white person) who grew up in the territories of the Kaska Dena, Shúhtaotʼine, and Kwanlin Dun. For the past fourteen years Josh has worked with the Ross River Dena Elders Council on various Dena knowledge projects and culture camps. He also works with the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning in coordinating land-based education programs in Kaska Dena Territory.


Lianne Marie Leda Charlie is Wolf Clan and Tagé Cho Hudän | Big River People (Northern Tutchone speaking people of the Yukon). Her maternal grandparents are Donna Olsen (first generation Canadian of Danish ancestry) and Benjamin Larusson (first generation Canadian of Icelandic ancestry) and her paternal grandparents are Leda Jimmy of Tánintsę Chú Dachäk | Little Salmon River and Big Salmon Charlie of Gyò Cho Chú | Big Salmon River. She was born in Whitehorse to her Mother, Luanna Larusson, and late Father, Peter Andrew Charlie. Lianne grew up on the unceded Lekwungen territories in what is commonly referred to as Victoria, British Columbia, where she went to school and university. She is a recent graduate of the PhD program in Indigenous Politics in the Political Science Department at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. Her research focused on modern treaty politics in the Yukon. Lianne is a multimedia artist and Mom to Luka Gyo. She has created community murals in Whitehorse, Łu Ghą, and Mayo and co-created four pieces for To Talk With Others (Valerie Salez), including a life-size, hot pink papîer maché bull moose made out of the Umbrella Final Agreement. Lianne is a faculty member at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning.


Filmed by Mike Code.

Learn More

“We have our footsteps everywhere”, The Ross River Dena’s fight to protect Dena Kēyeh/Kaska   Country by Lianne Marie Leda Charlie and Josh Barichello


Lianne Marie Leda Charlie, “Afterbirth”, Ndè Sı̀ı̀ Wet’aɂà, Forthcoming June 2022 ARP Press


Lianne Marie Leda Charlie, “The Moose in Northern Tutchone Governance in the Making”, 


OK Indicts

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson x Asinnajak


This is a short film made by Asinnajak in response to track "OK Indicts' from Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's Polaris Prize Short Listed record Theory of Ice.  OK Indicts explores the death of the Okjökull glacier, in Icelandic, from an Indigenous perspective and from the perspective of the glacier. 

Artist Bios

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, musician, and member of Alderville First Nation. She is the author of seven previous books, including A Short History of the Blockade, and the novel Noopiming: A Cure for White Ladies which was released in the United States in 2021 by the University of Minnesota Press. Leanne has released four albums including f(l)ight and Noopiming Sessions, and the Polaris short-listed Theory of Ice. Her latest book is co-authored with Robyn Maynard and entitled Rehearsals for Living. Leanne is a board member and a Faculty member at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning. She served as a mentor and editor on this project.


Asinnajaq is an Inuk visual artist, filmmaker, writer, and curator based in Montreal, Quebec, and from Inukjuak, Nunavik. Asinnajaq’s practice is grounded in research and collaboration, which includes working with other artists, friends, and family. In 2016 she worked with the National Film Board of Canada’s archive to source historical and contemporary Inuit films and colonial representations of Inuit in film. The footage she pulled is included in her short film Three Thousand (2017). The film was nominated for Best Short Documentary at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Asinnajaq was a part of the curatorial team for the Canadian Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale and was long listed for the prestigious Sobey Art Award in April 2020.

OK Indicts

Decolonial Worlds: Indigenous & Pan-racial Solidarities

Spoken Word Performance by Chris Tse


This video was recorded in December of 2021 during the Indigenous World Building and Solidarities Speaker Series that was hosted by Dechinta Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Artist Bio

Christopher Tse is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and writer living in Whitehorse. He has shared the stage with Shane Koyczan, Martin Luther King III, and Mustafa the Poet, and once came in second at the Poetry Slam World Cup. His work focuses on the intersections of identity and power through storytelling and art, particularly in the role of art in historical and current resistance movements. He is especially interested in exploring the complex convergence of migration, decolonization, and land politics through the (re)building of pan-racial solidarities centreing Indigenous knowledges. He has one dog and one sourdough starter. Link to "Model Minority" below.

chris tse

Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaiʻi and the North

Hōkūlani Aikau, Lianne Maire Leda Charlie, Kyla LeSage 


This video was recorded in December of 2021 during the Indigenous World Building and Solidarities Speaker Series that was hosted by Dechinta Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon. 


Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, tourists visiting Hawai‘i vastly outnumbered local residents by more than 9.4 million to 1.4 million. The fourth smallest “state,” Hawai‘i ranks tenth in visitors. Tourism, along with militarism, is the core of Hawai‘i’s economic engine, cementing tourist desire and satisfaction as the definitive concerns that shape the “health” of Hawaiʻi. Given how Hawaiʻi is overdetermined by tourism, how might we offer a decolonial encounter with Hawai‘i as something worth understanding and engaging in?  Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaiʻi takes seriously the power of form and the reading practices, imaginaries and publics produced by tourism and deliberately unsettles them. This presentation outline the ethical dimensions of the project and the rationale for turning away from the guidebook genre toward a book that guides readers to decolonization—a template and archive of place-based work and representations aimed at achieving ea (life, breath, sovereignty). It also reflects on the kinds of responsibilities that emerge from this framework and what it means for people who visit or live in Hawaiʻi and for decolonization in other places.

Artist Bio

Hōkūlani K. Aikau (Kanaka 'Oiwi) is a professor at the University of Victoria in the Indigenous Governance Program. She is the author of A Chosen People, Promised Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaii (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). With Vernadette V. Gonzalez, she coedited Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaii (2019) and edits the Detours Series with Duke University Press.


Lianne Marie Leda Charlie is Wolf Clan and Tagé Cho Hudän (Northern Tutchone speaking people of the Yukon). She is a PhD Candidate in the Indigenous Politics Program in the Political Science Department at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (UHM) and a faculty member with Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.


Kyla Sedaya LeSage is a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin from Old Crow, YT and Anishinaabeg from Garden River, ON but was raised in Sǫ̀mba K’è/Yellowknife, NT on Chief Drygeese Territory. She is the Land-Based Academic and Regional Outreach Coordinator at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning located in Sǫ̀mba K’è/Yellowknife. Kyla has a degree in Political Science and First Nations Indigenous Studies from the University of British Columbia


Falling Stars

By Leela Gilday


It’s -50 in the middle of the winter in Denendeh.  In the light of the moon you can see snow glittering against the sky like diamonds. Your breath shows as you breathe out- the cold would kill you. But the beauty of the northern lights, the stars, the echo of the drumbeat across the land calls me home from all parts touring down south and the world over. 


For some reason I only ever dated, and eventually married in Denendeh. The pull of my home- the beauty of the land has always been my compass. My lover and my home- both equally powerful magnets pulling me home, into my place. Into the ancient pathways of my ancestors.  


The tea dance song slowed down, layered with vox- has Dene drums in it. The drum is the heartbeat of the people.  This song is that heartbeat calling me home.



  • Leela Gilday - Vocals, Background Vocals, Acoustic Guitar

  • Tony Raybould - Drums

  • MJ Dandeneau - Bass

  • Hill Kourkoutis – Electric Guitar, Organ, Drum Programming, Soundscape, Background Vocals

  • Jason Burnstick – Acoustic Slide Guitar

  • Debashis Sinha – Kalimba, Whirly Tube

  • Dene Drums – (Recorded at Spiritwalker Studios, Courtesy of Gho-Bah Collective): Leroy Betsina, Gordie Liske, Ernie Goulet, Lawrence Nayally, Deneze Nakehk’o

Artist Bio

Leela Gilday is a celebrated musician-songwriter, singer, guitarist, composer, and creator from Denendeh. Her family is from the Sahtú region and she was born and raised in Yellowknife on Treaty 8 Territory. If you’re from the North, her music is home. If you’ve never been, it will take you there. She writes about the people and the land that created her—of love and life and a rugged environment and vibrant culture. She believes music has an inexplicable effect on people. It is a place where she can share light and dark and the most vulnerable moments. Her music has been recognized with many awards including a Juno, and she has toured nationally and internationally for the better part of twenty-five years. Leela has also embarked upon a career as an artistic director, with projects such as the Circumpolar Soundscape, Muskoskwew Quartet, Tsekwi Huya Gala celebration, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Finale, Gho-Bah/Gombaa collective concert and recording, and most recently as the musical director for the Arctic Inspiration Prize Ceremony. She presents workshops on vocal and personal empowerment, most often to Indigenous communities.

Falling Stars

Guorga - Duoddara modjegobit

By Niilas Holmberg



  • Camera: Lada Suomenrinne

  • Additional camera: Hans Pieski

  • Editing: Timo Peltola

  • Camera assistant and grip: Tomi Lampinen, Sakari Maliniemi

  • Music composed by Jakop Janssønn

  • Lyrics by Niillas Holmberg

  • Musicians

  • Jakop Janssønn - percussions

  • Niillas Holmberg - vocals

  • Kristian Olstad - guitar

  • Herborg Rundberg - piano

  • Eirik Fjelde - synth

  • Jo Fougner Skaansar - double bass

  • Music produced by Jakop Janssønn

  • Mix by Jakop Janssønn

  • Master by Morgan Nicolaysen / Propeller Studio

  • Published by DAT

  • Thank you!

  • Joonas Berghäll

  • Erkki Feodoroff

  • Sini Kononen

  • Olli Uosukainen

  • Rájá-Jon Máret

  • Marja Guttorm & Jalvvi Veikko

  • Veikko Holmberg

  • Sámi Education Institute

  • Oktober Oy

  • With the support of Norgga sámediggi - Sámi Parliament of Norway

Artist Bio

Niillas Holmberg is a Sámi poet, novelist, scriptwriter, and musician. He has published one novel and six books of poetry. His works have been translated into more than ten languages. In the field of music he works as a vocalist, composer, and lyricist. Besides working solo he has performed with several bands, currently with Guorga. Niillas is known as an upfront spokesman for Sámi and Indigenous rights to self-determination. He has been involved in several movements against extractivism in Sámi areas. Niillas lives in Ohcejohka, Sámiland.

Wellness Resources

Wellness Resources


Powwow Yoga with Acosia Red Elk


13-min Gentle Morning Vinyasa Flow with Mel Douglas of the Black Women's Yoga Collective 


10-minute Bedtime Yoga with Mel Douglas of the Black Women's Yoga Collective 


Guided Meditation | Affirmations for BIPOC


Guided Meditation for Anxiety & Stress 


Dora Kamau


Seven Essential Listens From the Indigenous Podcasting Boom 


The best podcasts for relieving stress, distracting yourself, or taking a break 


4Rs Youth Movement: Podcasts


You are made of Medicine: A Mental Health Peer Support Manual 


Rest for Resistance

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