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Summer Indigenous Art Intensive (2017)

This year's intensive will be held during July 2017, and will feature a series of world-renowned speakers, a variety of related undergraduate and graduate credit courses, and a group of resident artists. 

Keynote speakers include UBCO's Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Knowledge, Jeannette Armstrong, as well as artists and theorists France Trepanier and Chris Creighton Kelly (Vancouver Island), Monika Kin Gagnon (Montreal), Shawn Wilson (Australia), and Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Graham Smith (New Zealand). All keynote talks will be livestreamed, and subsequently published in a monograph format.

The Summer indigenous Art Intensive will also include ten resident artists that will be working in the studios on campus creating various projects, working with students and the general public. This years resident artists include: Jordan Wheeler, Maria Hupfield, Jason Lugan, Elle-Maija Tailfeather, Jake Chakasim, Jules Koostachin, Maikoiyo Barnes, Wendy Red Star, Leuli Eshraghi, and Jamie Isaac. 

Alongside the intensive residency, FCCS is offering numerous courses in visual art, creative writing, and performance. All of these courses will run in conjunction with the Indigenous Summer Intensive with varying degrees of crossover between them. There will be one common 90-minute meeting for all courses each week to allow for a sharing of multiple voices between the residency and the students.

Details, updates and live video streams at:

The following courses will be offered during the Summer Intensive for 2017. Click on the course name below for a brief description.

Undergraduate and Graduate Course: How can a writer collaborate with others? A practice-based course, the Collaboratory, provides opportunities for writers to explore how their work might be informed and transformed by direct engagement with artists from a variety of practices including visual arts, performance, and critical studies, while inviting those same artists to explore how writers can shape and reshape their own practices. Guided by Indigenous and Pragmatic ways of knowing and modelled on Open Access tenets of emergent, collectively-held space, the Collaboratory asks through the making of new works: How does a writer collaborate with language, with audience, with self? How does collaboration with material, image, and sound influence writing? In what ways do writers collaborate with history, ecology, and power? What makes collaboration possible? What makes it necessary?
    Course Dates: July 4 - 28, 2017 
    Instructor: Matt Rader
Undergraduate Course: The course will provide students the opportunity to explore Indigenous traditional and contemporary based performance practices. This will be delivered as a studio course but will also involve class participants interacting with guest Indigenous artists, Elders, and to attend events that reflect Indigenous practices. Indigenous performance practices are inspired by the ecology of the land; Indigenous songs, dances, regalia (dress) and stories vitalize, honour and distinguish the inter connectedness of these ancient practices. The central theme of practice for the course embraces the perception that Indigenous performance methods such as song, dance, and storytelling engage distinct and diverse cultural values associated with Indigenous peoples, their homelands and ancestral territories.
    Course Dates: July 4 - 28, 2017
    Instructor: TBA
Undergraduate course: This course provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their art practice by engaging deeply with creative research around specific sites in the Okanagan. Coursework begins outdoors with a series of assignments intended to strengthen students' powers of observation. Back in the studio, a variety of short experiments will jump start the development of self-directed project ideas by identifying the core priorities in their art practice. Class discussions, critical feedback and journaling will further student's in-depth investigation of their creative thought processes, and help to generate new avenues for investigation. Weekly contact with resident artists will provide examples of the diverse range of approaches to visual research and highlight the role of cultural identity and the importance of place within the artists' practice. This course is appropriate for artists and creative thinkers at every stage of their development.
    Course Dates: July 4 - 28, 2017
     Instructor: Katherine Pickering
Undergraduate Course: The course will cover the history of the extraction and attempted elimination of Indigenous cultural heritage, including artistic expression, through the Residential School Era (1938-1990) and the Culture Ban (1884-1948) through the Indian Act. The imposition of Eurocentric Intellectual Property Rights law on Traditional Knowledge will also be covered, as well as the application of colonizing false narratives and stereotypes. The Reclamation of Indigenous cultural heritage, beginning in the 1960s through to the present, will be traced and analyzed. Overall, the course will have an historical through to contemporary Indigenous Arts Focus.
Graduate Course: In this course students will investigate the methodologies and practices of Indigenous Artists in contemporary contexts of creative praxis, including visual and performance art. The focus of this compressed intensive course will be on Indigenous art that engages social, political, regional, and global issues in relationship to diverse communities and contexts. The immersive environment will involve nine hours per week for a four-week period and will create a learning environment that encourages in-depth exploration of the traditions, methods, and practices of studio artists and curators.

Registration is open for all of the courses listed above. UBC students can register when they log into SSC.


A limited amount of funding will be made available to offset tuition expenses for students enrolled in any of the following intensive courses:

  • CRWR 382/520; THTR 302; VISA 460; INDG 295; VISA 520/IGS 520 

If you are registered in one or more of these courses and you wish to be considered for funding, please send an email by the deadline date of June 25, 2017 to In your email, please indicate: 

  • Full Name
  • Course(s) registered in
  • If applicable, indicate indigenous or international student
  • If you are a visiting student and require assistance with accommodation 

Please note that funding is limited and not guaranteed. For additional information, please contact

Last reviewed shim2/16/2018 1:49:38 PM


Visiting Students

Applications for visiting students is now closed.

All courses are open to all UBC students and will also be available to visiting students. See below for instructions on how to apply as a Visiting Student:


Ashok Mathur
Department Head, Creative Studies