Keynote talks

2017 summer intensive

Videos of all keynote talks

Student responses to Keynote Talks:

July 12: Cristalle Smith & Melissa Weiss

July 12: Ollie Sandberg

July 12: Michael Turner

July 12: Jessica, Skylar and Sarah

Keynote Address: Monika Kin Gagnon 12 noon, Wednesday July 12, University Theatre (ADM026)
Rethinking Expo 67

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is presenting À la recherché d’Expo 67 / In Search of Expo 67, an exhibition of major new works by 19 Canadian and Québec contemporary artists who have taken inspiration from the original event. As one of the co-curators of this exhibition (with MAC curator, Lesley Johnstone), my presentation will explore the original Expo 67 event and discuss the exhibition, as well as consider how “revisiting” this world’s fair uniquely enables critical reflection. Rethinking Expo 67 will focus on nationalism and world expos, art and public memory, with highlights of the Canada Pavilion (artworks by Althea Thauburger, Leisure and Geronimo Inutiq), and the Indians of Canada Pavilion (artworks by Krista Belle Stewart and Duane Linklater).

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Monika Kin Gagnon is Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University. She has published widely on cultural politics, the visual and media arts since the 1980s, including Other Conundrums: Race, Culture and Canadian Art (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2000), and 13 Conversations about Art and Cultural Race Politics (Éditions Artexte, 2002) with Richard Fung. She co-edited Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67 with Janine Marchessault (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2014). Her current research is on cultural memory, creative archiving, and experimental media arts. She curated La Vie polaire/Polar Life from Expo 67 at the Cinémathèque Québécoise in 2014; Theresa Hak Kyung Cha | Immatérial, at Centre Phi in Montreal 2015; and co-curated the group exhibition In Search of Expo 67 at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in summer 2017. Her Podcast on Expo 67 is available

Relevant websites
Faculty webpage:


CINEMAexpo67 research group:

Podcast on Expo 67 hosted by Monika Kin Gagnon
On iTunes:


Keynote address: Chris Creighton-Kelly and France Trepanier: 1:30 pm, Wednesday, July 12, University Theatre (ADM026)
Land : Landed

Chris Creighton-Kelly and France Trépanier will enact a performative presentation, Land : Landed, concerned with two grand, historical narratives that impact contemporary, Canadian art discourses. One is the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing, specifically the centrality of land and its connection to art making. The other is the unprecedented migration of humans around the globe, specifically people of colour who arrive in the territory known as Canada, who bring their art practices with them. What do these two narratives have to do with one other?

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 3.41.59 PMFrance Trépanier is an artist/curator of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. She is the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space (Victoria). She was chosen as part of the 3-year International Indigenous Curatorial Exchange Program initiated by the Canada Council. She is a part time instructor in Indigenous Art Studies. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in venues across Canada. Her essays are disseminated in various publications.
Chris Creighton-Kelly is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and cultural critic. He was born in the UK of South Asian/British heritage. His artworks have been presented across Canada and in India, Europe & the USA. Chris has been persistently interested in questions of absence in the art discourses of the Western world. Whose epistemology is unquestioned? Who has power? Who does not? Why? Chris appreciates his audiences a lot.

France and Chris were the co-recipients of the inaugural Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship awarded by Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. They co-authored Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today for the Canada Council. They are co-directing Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires, a 3-year, national initiative, emphasizing the centrality of Indigenous artists and artists of colour in imagining new “creation stories” for the territory now known as Canada.


Keynote Address: Jeannette Armstrong: 12 noon, Wednesday July 19, University Theatre (ADM026)
captikʷɬ: Imagery in Okanagan Oral Story.

An overview of how the Syilx language as a polysynthetic language works with images lifted directly from the living world.  It is the foundation of the complex and layered images of animal characters found in captikʷɬ (oral story) and linked directly to visual and performed communication


Jeannette Armstrong is a spokesperson for indigenous peoples’ rights. The award-winning writer and activist, novelist and poet has always sought to change deeply biased misconceptions related to Aboriginal people. Armstrong feels passionately that the best way to accomplish this is as a professor of Indigenous Studies, where she gets to research, develop, educate and inform the minds of the next generation.


Keynote Address: Shawn Wilson: 1:30 pm, Wednesday July 19, University Theatre (ADM026)
Indigenous Sovereignty

Indigenous sovereignty also requires the sovereignty of Indigenous knowledges in order for people to work toward building respectful relationships with others and with the environment. Ontological freedom (sovereignty) is a prerequisite to developing ways of expressing Indigenous voice and vision – we must be free in our thinking and being before we can express ourselves through what we do. Sovereignty disrupts the neoliberal agenda of “we are all equal” through recognizing that truly respectful intersections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities requires celebrating our differences.

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Shawn Wilson is Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba, Canada, and currently lives on Bundjalung land on the east coast of Australia. His research has helped to communicate the theories underlying Indigenous research methodologies to diverse audiences. Through working with Indigenous people internationally, Shawn has applied Indigenist philosophy within the contexts of Indigenous education, health and counsellor education. In addition to further articulating Indigenous philosophies and research paradigms, his research focuses on the inter-related concepts of identity, health and healing, culture and wellbeing. His book, Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods is often cited for bridging understanding between western academia and traditional Indigenous knowledges.


Keynote address: Graham Smith: 12 noon, Wednesday, July 26, University Theatre (ADM026)
Academic Work as Transforming Praxis: From Discourse to Enactment (Show me the blisters on your hands!)

This presentation will critically examine an indigenous example of ongoing struggle to transform the social, cultural and economic condition of persistent, high and disproportionate levels of under-development often in the face of new formations of colonization. In particular, I will examine the Maori case in NZ as a subset of indigenous struggle more broadly, the implications of which have wider application across other colonizing jurisdictions. I argue for the veracity of a Kaupapa Maori (a Maori/ indigenous centered) transformative approach that moves from discursive struggle to enacted struggle. Indigenous academics should not engage in struggle as simply an externalized issue, that is, as a struggle against the ‘other’. In order to ‘speak a more true word’ (Freire, P. 1972) indigenous academics and commentators need to simultaneously interrogate the veracity of their own academic ‘positioning’ and ‘criticality’.

Suggested Readings:

i. Smith, G.H. 2009. Mai i te maramatanga, ki te putanga mai o te tahuritanga: From Conscientisation to transformation. In, Andrzejewski, J., et al (Ed). Social Justice, peace and environmental education: transformative standards. Routledge, New York and London.

ii. Smith, G.H. 2015 ‘Equity as Critical Praxis: The Self-Development of Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi’ in Paulo Freire: The Global Legacy. (Eds.) M. Peters & T. Besley 2015. Peter Lang: New York; pp 55 – 79.

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Distinguished Professor Smith is an internationally renowned Māori educationalist who has been at the forefront of Māori initiatives in the education field and beyond. His academic background is within the disciplines of education, social anthropology and cultural and policy studies, with recent academic work centred on developing theoretically informed transformative strategies for intervening in Māori cultural, political, social, educational and economic crises. He is involved in the development of Tribal Universities and has worked extensively with other indigenous peoples across the world, including Canada, Hawaii, USA mainland, Taiwan, Chile, Australia and the Pacific nations. He is a regular contributor to national forums on indigenous issues and has also been an authoritative voice to international forums on indigenous education issue. Institution: Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi

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