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2024 Expressions of Reclamation Artists

Curated by Arts New West’s Indigenous Curator James Groening, Expressions of Reclamation features artistic presentations from Indigenous artists – including artist talks, performance art, seminars, live drawing/painting, collaborative activities, workshops, performances and more.

The community of New Westminster the opportunity to learn from Indigenous artists and witness how artists use their creativity and artistic expression to reclaim their identity and connect with who they are.

2024 Expressions of Reclamation events will take place on June 8 from 11am to 5pm during the New West Craft Indigenous Market (at River Market) and the Welcome to My Renaissance event at the Queen’s Park Bandshell on Saturday, June 29 from 2pm to 5pm.

New West Craft Indigenous Market – June 8, 11am to 5pm

Larissa Healey – Little Dancing Bear

June 8, 2:30pm on the Boardwalk at River Market

Larissa Healey (they/them) is Anishinaabe from Peguis First Nation in Winnipeg

Manitoba Treaty 1 territory. They grew up all over the world settling in Vancouver

B.C. Canada. Larissa is a visual artist and dancer

Larissa Healey’s Spirit Name is Little Dance Bear (Oogokwi Nimikoonz). Larissa Dances the Grass Dance and has been dancing for over 16 years. Larissa shares from their experience as a ’60s Scoop warrior and holds space as a Two Spirit representative. The responsibility of a grass dancer is to provide an opening for the grounds of blessings and setting the tone in a good way. Larissa honours our ancestors, those who can’t dance and uplifts those who have a past. They also advocate for those with visual and non-visual disabilities.

The natural world inspires Larissa’s visual art. Anishinaabe culture, street culture and the seven teachings. Their work has been presented at the Heart of City Festival, BeatNations, the National Gallery of Canada, Bill Reid Gallery, and many others. Additionally, Larissa has created 120+ murals on the streets of Vancouver. Larissa has represented grass dance and artisans in Canada and the USA. They have worked with the City of Vancouver for 17 years in restorative justice.

“Ceremony is first for the grass dancer, doing extensive work has been both an honour and pleasure. The healing works continue in our rich culture and traditions.”

Stars of the North Drum Group

June 8, 12:15 pm on the Boardwalk at River Market

Hello, we are Stars Of The North Drum Group, representing our North West Coast people of the Tlowitsis Mumtigala Nation of Alert Bay, and of the Kwakiutl people of Fort Rupert on Vancouver Island, and we represent the Stolo people of Seabird Island Chilliwack BC. Stars of the North Drum Group was born in August of 2009 with the guidance of our elders sharing their wisdom, and their knowledge, and passing down to us their stories that our mother LaDonna Wiks Joseph Hindmarch puts into her own written songs in English implementing our Native Kwakwala Language.
We are children of parents who attended and survived residential school. We are children who were not raised on reserve, with our native people, nor were we raised with our native language, and with our native culture. So we started our own learning journey of our native culture, history, and of our language through song with the guidance of our Grandmother Christine Joseph Twance Of Fort Rupert, and of many elders whom we keep them all very close to our hearts. We continue to raise our hands honouring and remembering them for without their guidance, love and support Stars of the North Drum group would not be.

The button blankets we wear are all hand stitched every bead, button, sequence, and every stitch by our mother LaDonna Wiks Joseph Hindmarch, with the guidance of our Auntie Elizabeth Dawson, and they represent who we are, and where we from as Big House People. We raise our hands at this time to give thanks to our Community Event Facilitators, for inviting our Stars of the North Drum Group to share our Aboriginal Cultural Journey. We would also like to acknowledge, and raise our hands to give thanks to the First Nations People of this Territory we are standing on for allowing us to share our Cultural Journey in our own written contemporary songs.

Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

June 8, 2pm on the Boardwalk at River Market

MANGESHIG PAWIS-STECKLEY is an Anishinaabe illustrator and a member of Wasauksing First Nation. He illustrated the award-winning picture book Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know and Mnoomin maan’gowing / The Gift of Mnoomin, both by Brittany Luby, and is the author and illustrator of Boozhoo! / Hello! He lives in the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples (Vancouver) with his wife Maria and daughter Mino.

Norine Braun is a Canadian singer-songwriter recording artist with a prolific career spanning 14 albums. Her music explores themes of identity, heritage, and the universal journey of self-discovery. The upcoming album, “Journey Toward Wholeness,” is a testament to Braun’s resilience and the transformative power of music in exploring the depths of one’s personal narrative. 

Welcome to My Renaissance – June 29, 2pm to 5pm, Queen’s Park

Leonard Sumner

Welcome to My Renaissance – June 29, 2pm-5pm, Queen’s Park Bandshell

“He has been called one of the most important, vital new voices of the First Nations roots music scene in Canada. In truth, Sumner could be categorized as one of the most important, vital new voices in the entire Canadian roots music scene.” — Vancouver Island Music Fest

“In First Nations cultures, traditional songs and stories communicate histories, life lessons and philosophy from one generation to the next. Anishinaabe poet, singer/songwriter and MC Leonard Sumner has woven an enticing root-blues-rap-country fusion around that traditional content. Unblinkingly honest, Sumner’s lyrics are defiant yet vulnerable, and deliver the message: We are still here and our voices must be heard.” — Calgary Folk Festival

Anishinaabe MC/Singer/Songwriter Leonard Sumner’s storytelling flows directly from the shores of Little Saskatchewan First Nation, located in the heart of the Interlake of Manitoba. Sumner’s self-determined sound is evidence of his ability to simultaneously occupy landscapes of multiple musical genres including; Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Country, and Rhythm and Blues. 

With every vibration of the strings on his guitar, Leonard rattles the dust off truths that have been buried for far too long. On stage he poetically sings awake the consciousness of audiences who may have been unaware of their slumber. In this era of unsettling history and healing wounds of the past, Sumner’s music is an expression of medicine that walks the line between fortitude and fragility.

Metis Dancers – V’ni Dansi

Welcome to My Renaissance – June 29, 2pm-5pm, Queen’s Park Bandshell

V’ni Dansi is a Vancouver-based traditional Métis and contemporary dance company dedicated to sharing the dances, stories and culture of the Métis. Led by Artistic Director Yvonne Chartrand, the company is dedicated to preservation and innovation.
V’ni Dansi holds the distinction of being the only company in Canada to teach and perform both Métis and contemporary dance. Meaning “Come and Dance” in Michif, V’ni Dansi is thrilled to share the Métis people’s joyful culture with audiences of all nations.

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