Roxanne Charles, Honouring Our Women, 2021. Design: Vicky Lum
Panel: Honouring Our Women
Friday, October 29, 6 - 8pm
To celebrate the installation of her mural Honouring Our Women at 312 Main, Roxanne Charles brings five local Indigenous Matriarchs — Ta'ah (Amy George), Sabina Dennis, Debra Sparrow, and T’uy’t’tanat (Cease Wyss) — together in conversation. Poet and activist Rita Wong moderates this Zoom webinar.
Roxanne Charles of Semiahmoo First Nation is a cultural historian employing means of visual representation, oral history, and ceremony. Roxanne holds two undergraduate degrees from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and a Master of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University. Roxanne's work directly responds to a troubling colonial present and documents a variety of issues that reflect her life experience such as spirituality, identity, urbanization, food security, resource extraction, trauma, and various forms of systemic violence.
Sabina Dennis (sahutni) is a Yinka Dene, Dakelh artist and activist whose work includes 42 years of Indigenous resistance, having been born into the movement as all Indigenous Peoples are — whether in day to day life or on the frontlines. She has also acted as reporter, supporter, guard, liaison, security, strategist, councillor, spokesperson, labourer among others. Dennis has been involved with the Wild Salmon Caravan, Wet’suwet’en frontlines during militarized invasion 2019/2020 and is currently active with the Wet’suwet’en, Fairy Creek Blockade as a supporter and organizer, Climate Action rallies, and is working on a land back healing camp in Dakelh territory.
Amy George (Ta‘ah) is a matriarch, leader, Elder, mother, grandmother, pipe carrier, sundancer and spirit dancer from Tsleil-Waututh Nation. She is also the daughter of Chief Dan George, and the mother of Rueben George, who is a Sundance Chief and critic of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. Ta’ah is well known for calling upon people to “Warrior Up” in response to the Expansion Project—guiding with passion and commitment to protect the lands and waters for future generations.
Debra Sparrow was born and raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve and is self-taught in Salish design and jewellery-making. Her work can be seen in various museums and institutions. Debra is an acclaimed weaver who has been weaving for twenty years and is deeply involved with the revival of Musqueam weaving.
Rita Wong is a poet-scholar who has written several books of poetry. Wong works to support Indigenous communities' efforts towards justice and health for water and land. She has co-edited an anthology with Dorothy Christian entitled Downstream: Reimagining Water. An Associate Professor in Critical and Cultural Studies at Emily Carr University, Wong attends to the relationships between contemporary poetics, water justice, ecology, and decolonization.
Cease Wyss (T’uy't'tanat) (Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/Hawaiian/Swiss) is an interdisciplinary artist who works with digital media, writing, and performance as her multi-disciplinary arts practice. She is a community engaged, public artist and ethnobotanist whose work is focussed on sustainability, permaculture, Coast Salish Cultural elements and has included themes of ethnobotany, Indigenous language revival, Salish weaving and digital media technology.