Summer Indigenous Art Intensive

This month-long residency gathers artists, curators, writers and scholars to engage in contemporary ideas and discourse—a place for new ideas rooted in Indigenous art-making.

Zine making workshop

UBC Okanagan’s Summer Indigenous Art Intensive offers an educational series of courses, lectures, art shows, and opportunities to create art. It features a series of world-renowned speakers, a variety of related undergraduate and graduate credit courses, and a group of resident artists who will be working to create a new body of work.

Summer Intensive  Program

The Summer Indigenous Art Intensive features a series of world-renowned speakers, a variety of related undergraduate and graduate credit courses, and a group of resident artists who will be working to create new works. The 2020 Intensive broadly engages the theme Site/ation, connecting to place through Indigenous territoriality, being grounded in land, voice and language, reconnecting to/nurturing traditions, and beyond.

Visiting Artists

The Summer Indigenous Art Intensive is a unique program that brings international and national Indigenous scholars, curators and artists together on campus to interact with students in a residency context. Visiting artists will participated in a series of keynote presentations and artist panels once a week throughout June.

Stay tuned for the list of visiting artists for the 2020 Summer Indigenous Art Intensive.

Below is the list of artists from 2019.

Jordan AbelJordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). Abel’s latest project NISHGA (forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart in 2020) is a deeply personal and autobiographical book that attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence and the often invisible intergenerational impact of residential schools. Abel recently completed a PhD at Simon Fraser University, and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta where he teaches Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing.

Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian Taino writer, artist, and land-based educator from Denendeh (NWT) and Pond Inlet, NU. She also belongs to a Dené Sųłine family and a strong lineage of storytellers/leaders on all three sides who have raised her to be close to the land. Siku has been leading resurgence-based work since 2012 through both community-building and the arts, alongside other Indigenous artists across the country.

Much of Siku’s work centers on decolonial ethics, resurgence and transformation. Her writing and artistic work have been featured in Canadian Art Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, The Malahat Review, The Guardian, The New Quarterly, Nuit Blanche Toronto (2017), and Hexsa’am: To Be Here Always (2019).

Mariel BelangerWai̓, x̓ast sx̌lx̌ʕalt. Inca isk̓ʷist Cen cen, kn tl nk ̓maplqs il n ̓sis ̓oolax̌ʷ. Hello good day, my name is Mariel Belanger, I am from the Head of the Lake– Dry Creek, the northern part of the Syilx – Okanagan Nation.”

Mariel Belanger , MFA alumna from UBCO, is dedicated to contributing in the growth of interdisciplinary performance arts as a method to engage Indigenous community, language, culture and act as a bridge to society telling stories of our time. As artist scholar, her research is about identity through the lens of sqilxw ways of knowing and being, customary law, indigenous feminism and performance theory, exploring how cultural identity is rebuilt through oral history and performance practice. “I am doing nothing new, nothing that hasn’t already been written and recorded. Just carrying on as we’ve always done – learning, growing, being Sqilxw Apna the dreaming ones, the people now.”

Laice BurningLacie Burning is a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) multi-disciplinary artist and curator raised on Six Nations of the Grand River located in Southern Ontario. They work in photography, video, installation, and sculpture and will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a focus on Indigenous Art. Having come from a culturally and politically grounded upbringing, their work focuses on politics of Indigeneity and identity from a Haudenosaunee perspective.

RYAN! Elizabeth FeddersenRYAN! Elizabeth Feddersen b.1984 Confederated Tribes of the Colville (Okanogan /Arrow Lakes /German /English) is a mixed-media installation artist who specializes in interactive and immersive artworks that invite audience engagement. Feddersen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Cornish College of the Arts in 2009. She was inspired to create interactive and temporary artworks as a way to honor an indigenous perspective on the relationship between artist and community. Her approach emphasizes humor, play, and creative engagement to create opportunities for personal introspection and discovery. Cultivating engagement with the contemporary indigenous art world has been a transformative way that Feddersen has connected with her cultural heritage and dismantled her American cultural indoctrination.

In 2018, Feddersen received a National Fellowship in Visual Art from the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, the Honoring Innovation award from the Washington State Historical Society and her work in Borderlands was recognized by the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Year in Review. Also in 2018, Feddersen mounted three solo exhibitions at the Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA, the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture, Spokane, WA and the MAC Gallery, Wenatchee Valley College, in her hometown of Wenatchee, WA.

Whess HarmanWhess Harman (they/them pronouns) is mixed race, trans/non-binary queer/2SQ artist from the Carrier Wit’at Nation and a graduate of the emily carr university’s bachelor of fine arts program. They are currently living and working on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations in the Skwachays Lodge artist residency program.

Their on-going work includes beadwork and DIY strategies around punk aesthetics creating the “Potlatch Punk” series; a collection of modified and embellished jackets that blend traditional materials with punk and DIY approaches to discuss urban Indigenous identity, representations and understandings of wealth. Their poetry and text-based projects continually seek to explore the possibilities of reciprocal engagement in the dialogue and aim to subvert and confront the assumptions made in consuming Indigenous voices and work.

Eli HirtleEli Hirtle is a nêhiyaw(Cree)/British/German filmmaker, beadworker, and curator born and raised on Lekwungen territory (Victoria, BC). His practice involves documenting and creating work about Indigenous cultural resurgence, language revitalization, and identity.

His current interests are making films that tell Indigenous stories in responsible ways, mentoring Indigenous youth, and learning how to speak his ancestral language of nêhiyawewin. Eli is currently the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space Arts Society in Victoria, BC.

Candice HopkinsCandice Hopkins is a writer, a curator and a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation. Her practice explores the intersections of history, contemporary art and indigeneity. Hopkins is senior curator for the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art and was a part of the curatorial team of the Canadian Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, featuring the work of the media art collective Isuma. She is co-curator of notable exhibitions including Art For a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now; the 2018 SITE Santa Fe biennial, Casa Tomada; documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art; Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years; and the 2014 SITElines biennial, Unsettled Landscapes. Her writing is published widely and recent essays and presentations include “The Gilded Gaze: Wealth and Economies on the Colonial Frontier,” for the documenta 14 Reader, “Outlawed Social Life” for South as a State of Mind and Sounding the Margins: A Choir of Minor Voices at Small Projects, Tromsø, Norway. She has lectured internationally including at the Witte de With, Tate Modern, Dak’Art Biennale, Artists Space, Tate Britain, Yale University, Cornell University, and the University of British Columbia.

Jaimie IsaacJaimie Isaac is a Winnipeg-based curator and interdisciplinary artist, member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Treaty 1 territory of Anishinaabe and British heritage. Isaac holds a degree in Art History and an Arts and Cultural Management Certificate from the University of Winnipeg and a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia, with research focus on Indigenous Curatorial Praxis, and methodologies in decolonizing and Indigenizing. Recent exhibitions include Woven Together at the Kelowna Art Gallery, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery; organic, Insurgence Resurgence (co curated with Julie Nagam) and Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant, Boarder X, We Are On Treaty Land, and Quiyuktchigaewin; Making Good. Isaac co-founded of The Ephemerals Collective (with Niki Little and Jenny Western), which was long-listed for the 2017 and 2019 Sobey Art Award. Jaimie collaborated on the artistic team with KC Adams and Val Vint with on a public sculpture at the Forks called Nimama at South Point path; Niizhoziibean and collaborated on a public art project, Cyclical Motion: Indigenous Art & Placemaking curated by Jenny Western. She collaborated on the official denial (trade value in progress) a national project with Leah Decter . Jaimie has contributed articles for Art + Wonder, C Magazine, Bordercrossings, and essays for exhibition catalogues; Insurgence Resurgence, Boarder X, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, and unsacred, and contributed in collections of writing within The Land We Are Now: Writers and Artists Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation and Public 54: Indigenous Art: New Media and the Digital Journal. Jaimie was co-faculty for the Wood Land School at Plug In Summer Institute in 2016. She has presented research at many conferences in North America and Europe. Isaac was one of the Canada Council’s Indigenous delegation at the 2017 Venice Biennale. She is the Advisory Committee for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba Museum and is on the board of directors for Bordercrossings Magazine.

MichelleJ ackDr. Michelle Jack is syilx/Okanagan of the communities snpintktn (Penticton, BC) and nisɬpícaʔ (Omak, WA). An Abstract Image Maker/Scholar who investigates the physical, mental, spiritual, and material. Over the years as an image maker/scholar I have delved into some senses more than others when making distinct bodies of work that have to do with many different living land memories, and parts of sylix/Okanagan Indigenous/Aboriginal culture. To respect our Earth/Mother (təmúlaʔxʷ), Creator (kʷl’ncútən), and ancestors (sənqsílxʷ) when creating work sustainability has to be considered in every sense or area of life. The knowledges of our people, language, and culture are intertwined with the ideas of holistic methods and processes. Currently head of visual and Creative arts at En’owkin Centre, Penticton (Penticton Indian Band), BC.

My role as an Indigenous and mixed race artist dealing with my cultures is to present a view of our transforming communities. We are peoples of continuous cyclical change. The modern tool, the camera, walks with us on this border. The tension between tradition and modernity become inherent to every new image made. In the preface to The Photograph and the American Indian, Lee Clark Mitchell addresses this paradox.
He states,
“Yet just as art can endanger ceremony it can also play a ceremonial role, allowing a fuller understanding of one’s culture in the process of recording it. Recognizing this paradoxical fact has led Native Americans to turn the camera on each other with increasing sophistication.” (Bush, xxv)

As I walk hand in hand with this paradox my images transform and communicate a view from my changing culture. The images are somewhere in between. The camera is strictly a tool, not the sole image-maker. I choose how the eye of the lens will record the landscape, objects, or person in front of this piece of technology. I continue to walk with this tool in my hand.
These are scenes of modern Indigenous life; quite contrary and unimaginable to those who want the noble savage esthetic to remain. Like many other cobwebs in the towers of academia, this negative stereotype of Native/Indian/Aboriginal people has got to be erased. We cannot unify as one world of people with these kinds of perceptions. As I continue to walk along my borders I hope the walk in these two worlds will get easier as time passes.

Soleil LaunièrePekuakamiulnuatsh originally  from Mashteuiatsh on the border of lake pekuakami, Soleil Launière lives and work in Tiöhtià:ke (Montréal). Multidisciplinary artist combining voice, movement and theatre through performance art. She/They intertwines the presence of the two-spirit body and  experimental audiovisual while taking inspiration from the cosmogony and the sacred spirit of the animals from the Innu world. She/they express through actions a thought on silences and languages that makes action art evolve within the indigenous world as well as universally.

Tanya Lukin LinklaterTanya Lukin Linklater‘s performances in museums, videos, and installations have been shown in Canada and abroad. She often makes performance collaborations with dancers and sometimes composers, musicians, and poets in relation to the architecture of museums, objects in exhibition and cultural belongings, reaching towards atmospheres that shift the space. Her work centres knowledge production in and through orality, conversation, and embodied practices, including dance. While reckoning with histories that affect Indigenous peoples’ lives, lands and ideas, she investigates insistence. Her work has been shown at EFA Project Space + Performa, New York City, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Images Festival + Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Art Museum, Toronto, La Biennale de Montréal 2016/the Museé d’art contemporain de Montréal, and Wood Land School’s temporary exhibition at documenta14 in Kassel, Germany. In 2019 she will participate in …and other such stories, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, with Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, and in Soft Power at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Tanya originates from the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions in southern Alaska and has been based in northern Ontario for a decade. She studied at University of Alberta (M.Ed.) and Stanford University (A.B. Honours) where she received the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Louis Sudler Prize for Creative and Performing Arts. Tanya is a doctoral student in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. Her forthcoming book of poetry, Slow Scrape, will be published in the Documents series in the fall of 2019 by The Centre for Expanded Poetics and Anteism, Montréal. Her first book lives at the interstices of performance, the body, memory, and relationality. She was awarded the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature in 2013, and in 2018 Tanya was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Wanda Koop Research Fund for mid-career artists administered by Canadian Art.

Peter MorinPeter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist, curator, and educator. Morin’s practice-based research investigates the impact zones that occur when Indigenous culture-based practices and Western settler-colonialism collide. This work is shaped by Tahltan Nation epistemological production and often takes on the form of performance art interventions. Morin’s artistic work acknowledges that the creative process connected to the Indigenous object tells the story of our communities. In addition to his object and performance-based practice, Morin has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Anthropology, Western Front, Bill Reid Gallery, and Burnaby Art Gallery. In 2016, Morin was award the Hnatyshyn prize for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts for a mid-career artist in Canada. Peter Morin is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto On.

Suzanne MorrisetteSuzanne Morrissette is a Métis artist, curator, and writer from Winnipeg. She received a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design in 2009 and an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University in 2011. In 2017, Morrissette completed her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, which took an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the historical lineage behind contemporary perceptions of Indigenous political knowledge in mainstream North American society, particularly those which characterize resistance to state powers as aggressive or anti-progress. Looking at artworks by contemporary Indigenous artists, this research examines ways in which creative practice provides a generative site through which to confront and challenge these perceptions. This research has received SSHRC CGS and Provost Dissertation Scholarship support from 2013 to 2017 and has been nominated for the dissertation prize and Governor General’s Gold Medal for 2018.
Morrissette’s research-creation projects include such recent exhibitions as our land, together at Harbourfront Centre (2015), Surface & Symbol: works by Jean Marshall at the Ontario Crafts Council (2013) and Definitely Superior Art Gallery (2014), and Blueprints for a Long Walk: works by Lisa Myers at Urban Shaman Gallery (2013). Her forthcoming curated project On Being Illiberal extends her recent research to problematize public perception of resistance movements in North America.

Audie MurrayAudie Murray is a multi-disciplinary artist that works with various material including beadwork, textiles, repurposed objects, drawing, performance and video. She is Métis from Regina, Saskatchewan, treaty 4 territory. Murray currently creates and learns on the unceded territories of Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples (Victoria, BC). She has completed a visual arts diploma at Camosun College in 2016 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Regina in 2017. Her visual arts practice explores themes of reclamation, bodies, connection, duality and the presence of medicine, healing and growth. Her works have shown at various events and spaces in Canada including Open Space, Victoria(B.C.); La Guilde, Montréal (QC); the Alberta Art Gallery, Edmonton; the Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo (Ont); Hamilton Artist Inc (Ont); and the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto (Ont).

Marianne NicolsonMarianne Nicolson is an artist activist of Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations and Scottish descent.  The Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw Nations are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak’wala speaking peoples) of the Pacific Northwest Coast.  She is trained in traditional Kwakwaka’wakw forms and culture and contemporary gallery and museum based practice.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1996), a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria (2005), and a Master of Arts and PhD in Linguistics and Anthropology from the University of Victoria (2013).  Nicolson works as  a Kwakwaka’wakw cultural researcher and historian, as well as an advocate for Indigenous land rights.  Her practice is multi-disciplinary encompassing photography, painting, carving, video, installation, monumental public art, writing and speaking.  All her work is political in nature and seeks to uphold Kwakwaka’wakw traditional philosophy and worldview through contemporary mediums and technology.  Exhibitions include the 17th Bienalle of Sydney, Australia; The Vancouver Art Gallery, The National Museum of the American Indian in New York, Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Ontario and many others.  Major monumental public artworks are situated in Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Embassy in Amman, Jordan and the Canadian Embassy in Paris, France.

Lindsay NixonLindsay Nixon is a Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator, award-nominated editor, award-nominated writer, SSHRC doctoral scholarship recipient and McGill Art History Ph.D. student. Nixon is a finalist for the prestigious 2019 Dayne Ogilive Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, and an Indigenous Voices Literary Award, and has been nominated for several National Magazine Awards. They currently hold the position of Editor-at-Large for Canadian Art and previously edited mâmawi­-âcimowak, an independent Indigenous art, art criticism and literature journal. Their writing has appeared in The Walrus, Malahat Review, Room, GUTS, Mice, esse, The Inuit Art Quarterly, Teen Vogue and other publications. Nixon’s first book nîtisânak is out now through Metonymy Press. Born and raised in the prairies, they currently live in Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyaang—unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinabe territories (Montreal, QC).

Sheldon Pierre LouisSheldon Pierre Louis, a member of the Syilx Nation, is a multi-disciplinary Syilx Artist. Sheldon’s ancestral roots have influenced his works in painting, drawing, carving, and sculpting. Sheldon sits on the board of directors for the Arts Council of the North Okanagan in his second term as well sits at the Board for the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives. His work has been published in the Arts and Council Guide for the North Okanagan 2016 and 2017. Sheldon is a recipient of the First Peoples Cultural Council’s, Emerging Artist Development Award for 2015. He is a co-founder and the lead visual artist of the Kama? Creative Aboriginal Arts Collective & is a member of Ullus Collective, both groups based in Syilx Art. As a member of the Re-Think 150: Indigenous Truth Collective Sheldon has worked on a youth mural in conjunction with the Kelowna Secondary School’s Honours Art 12 class.

Sheldon has mentored as an artist, under his Father Gerald Louis for most of his life & has also mentored under Barb Marchand, both multi disciplinary Syilx artists. Through Ullus Collective Sheldon has exhibited his works at the “Eco tone Festival of the Arts 2014” at the Kelowna Rotary Centre for the Arts & “k’wansxixmentem i? sck’lq’aq’y’tet – Showing Our Artwork” at the Enowkin Centre in Penticton, BC. As a member of the Kama? Creative Aboriginal Arts Collective Sheldon has exhibited with the Vernon Public Art Gallery  and Gallery Vertigo. Sheldon has many pieces of work in private collections, some as far as Australia & New Zealand.  One of his most prominent works is on permanent display as a public art installation in the Kelowna General Hospital, a honour which was brought forth by Interior Health Association & Okanagan Nation Alliance. His Fine Art can also be found on the walls of University of British Columbia Okanagan, Sheldon’s most prized piece of work is the “Ceremonial Mace of University of British Columbia Okanagan” which is a hand carved wood piece, that is carried in con-vocational ceremony every year at the University, this piece now sits on display throughout the year at UBCO in the administrations building. Sheldon continues to spend his time creating pieces of work that convey the beauty of the Syilx Peoples history & culture. Sheldon has now grown into not just an artistic leader but also a community leader.

Anne RileyAnne Riley is an Indigiqueer multidisciplinary artist living as an uninvited Slavey Dene/Cree/German guest from Fort Nelson First Nation on the unceceded Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlí̓lwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations.Her work explores different ways of being and becoming, touch, and Indigeneity. She received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 and in 2016 she graduated from the Native Education College with a Certificate in Family and Community Counselling. She has exhibited both in the United States and Canada. Currently, she is working on a public art project commissioned by the City of Vancouver with her collaborator

T’uy’tanat Cease Wyss. Wyss and Riley’s project-A Constellation of Remediation consists of Indigenous Remediation Gardens planted throughout the city decolonizing and healing the dirt back to soil.

Erin SutherlandErin Sutherland works as an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, Augustana. Her P.h.D. in Cultural Studies from Queens University focuses on Indigenous curatorial methodologies and Indigenous performance art. She also works as an independent curator and has curated the performance series
Talkin’ Back to Johnny Mac in Kingston, Ontario in 2015. She is also a core and founding member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective in Edmonton, Alberta. She is originally from Grande Prairie, Alberta and is of Métis and settler decent.

Arielle Twist is a Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit, Trans Woman that creating to reclaim and harness ancestral magic and memories. Originally from George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan. She is now based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She is an author and multidisciplinary artist. Within her short career, she has attended a residency at Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, has work published with Them, Canadian Art, The Fiddlehead, PRISM International, This Magazine, and CBC Art and has been Nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Shortlisted in The National Magazine Awards, both in 2019. ‘Disintegrate/Dissociate’ is her first collection of poetry.

Her poetry, multi-media pieces, and performances have being exhibited in art galleries countrywide including The Khyber Centre for the Arts in Halifax, Toronto Media Arts Centre in Toronto, la galerie centrale powerhouse in Montreal, Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax, The Art Gallery of Mississauga in Mississauga, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax and The Agnes Etherington Art Gallery in Kingston.

Schedule of events

The Intensive offers an immersive experience of undergraduate and graduate courses in Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Art History and Visual Culture, and Indigenous Studies, along with panel conversations, keynote addresses, art exhibitions and performances, readings, and various additional events and fieldtrips throughout – some planned, some impromptu.

Summer Indigenous Art Intensive, Keynote presentations and artist panels

Stay tuned for the list of public events and happenings for June 2020.

For more information on the keynote presentations, panel discussions and other events, please visit our events calendar on the Summer Intensive Blog.

Summer Intensive Blog


Alongside the intensive residency, FCCS is offering additional courses in visual art, creative writing, and art history. These will run in conjunction with the Indigenous Summer Intensive with varying degrees of crossover, providing students the opportunity to connect with the keynote speakers and the resident artists. All courses run for the month of June.

VISA 460C: Indigenous Activist Art

Undergraduate Course: Site/ation, an in depth look at artistic ideologies born from active engagements and lived experiences on the land, land marking, contemporary art, Indigenous and unSettler art practices. Using Indigenous methodologies the class will centre land- practices and experiential processes, citing the land and its influence upon us. The 2019 summer intensive, with visiting Indigenous academics, curators and artists, will engage with ideas of Site/ation. How are we influenced, challenged, changed and politically tied to the lands in our communities and in our orbits. Participants will camp on the land together, read relevant texts, go for walks on the land, dream new relationships, and will research and learn by making and doing. Using art as strategy to guide resources and value Indigenous led spaces that acknowledge the land as the first gallery.

* ‘uninvited guest’ means acknowledging that due to dispossession of Indigenous lands and territories across Canada we operate outside of protocols that would make the local territory we are visiting within the authority of the traditional Indigenous land rights holder.

CRWR 382: Writing in Place

Undergraduate Course: Intensive manuscript production in one or two major genres: fiction, poetry, drama, or creative non-fiction. As students begin to shape their portfolios, they will be asked to place their work in a contemporary aesthetic context guided by the conversations and decolonial aesthetics of the Summer Indigenous Art Intensive. With particular emphasis on site/context, students will attend keynote addresses, artists panels, exhibits, performances, and readings as part of their course work.

CULT 320/ARTH 323: Creative Activism: Art, Media, and Social Justice

Undergraduate Course: This course examines the links between social justice, artistic practice and media production. We assess a range of activist interventions to political crisis through contemporary art and media. We begin from the premise that all issue-oriented and identity-based social movements are characterized by unequal access to land, political power and cultural resources. Through our study of creative activism, we consider how these seemingly disparate social movements are intrinsically connected by an overarching goal of social justice. In this course, we are interested in what creative activism offers, and what it can do.

INDG 100: Introduction to Decolonization

Undergraduate Course: Provides students with an overview of the discipline of Indigenous studies including the history, cultures, and experiences of Indigenous people.

INDG 202: Okanagan Concepts and Frameworks

Indigenous perspectives as demonstrated through Okanagan theory and practice; a systems-based indigenous peoples’ approach to landscape and ecology. Offered in relationship with the En’owkin Centre.

VISA 520: Contemporary Indigenous Art Praxis

Graduate Course: Site/ation, an in depth look at artistic ideologies born from active engagements and lived experiences on the land, land marking, contemporary art, Indigenous and unSettler art practices. Using Indigenous methodologies the class will centre land- practices and experiential processes, citing the land and its influence upon us. The 2019 summer intensive, with visiting Indigenous academics, curators and artists, will engage with ideas of Site/ation. How are we influenced, challenged, changed and politically tied to the lands in our communities and in our orbits. Participants will camp on the land together, read relevant texts, go for walks on the land, dream new relationships, and will research and learn by making and doing. Using art as strategy to guide resources and value Indigenous led spaces that acknowledge the land as the first gallery.

* ‘uninvited guest’ means acknowledging that due to dispossession of Indigenous lands and territories across Canada we operate outside of protocols that would make the local territory we are visiting within the authority of the traditional Indigenous land rights holder.


The program is open to UBC students, students from other universities and those who have a previous university degree.

  • Elder, Richard Armstrong

    Elder Richard Armstrong, Summer Intensive 2016

  • Zine workshop, 2019

    Zine making workshop, Summer Intensive, 2019

  • WIR

    Writer in Residence, Richard Van Camp, Summer Intensive 2018

  • Woven Together

    Woven Together Artist Panel, Summer Intensive 2018