MST Futurism: Decolonizing the City Through a Matriarchal Lens

2020, Health, Indigenous Voices

MST Futurism: uplifting and celebrating xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) visions for the future of what is currently known as Vancouver.

“xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) (MST) people have lived in these lands since Time Immemorial. We have never ceded or surrendered title to our lands, rights to our resources, or authority to make decisions within our territory. Since 1850 (when Vancouver was first annexed) MST voices have been silenced and our villages dismantled. In 1876 we were forced onto reservations and watched as the city was built around us. That was only 170 years ago. Today we are reclaiming agency by re-centring the future of this city in MST values, relations and visions.

We invite you to hear from incredible MST Host Nation thought leaders to re-envision the built form centred in right relation to our land, waters and skies.”

— Sierra Tasi Baker, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw & xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, MSc, BEnvD, Indigenous Urban Design Consultant and Project Curator

Thu, 03 Dec 2020

6:00 p.m. (PT)

Online Event


Chepximiya Siyam’ Hereditary Chief Janice George

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw

Chief Janice George is an accomplished weaver, author, museum curator, leader and educator. She holds the ancestral chieftainship of Sen̓áḵw. She has co founded L’hen Awtxw Weaving House to share the teachings and practice of traditional Coast Salish wool weaving and the M̓i tel'nexw Leadership Society to teach decolonial training rooted in Squamish values.

Auntie Orene Askew

Advocate for Change, DJ, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw

Orene is a Squamish Nation mixed Afro-Indigenous 2-Spirit woman, DJ and changemaker. Orene can be spotted with her DJ setup and trusty megaphone at most events advocating for Queer, Black and Indigenous solidarity.

Matriarch Debra Sparrow

Master Weaver, Public Artist, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm

Acclaimed Musqueam weaver, artist and knowledge keeper Debra Sparrow is a leading figure in the revival of Musqueam Coast Salish weaving. She once said she wouldn’t stop until she saw the city of Vancouver swathed in Coast Salish patterns and she’s well on her way to achieving that goal.

Matriarch Angela George

EMBA, Master Weaver, Traditionalist, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ

Angela George is currently working on her EMBA in Indigenous Business Leadership at SFU. She is a master weaver, canoe racer, singer and dancer. She believes that practicing traditions and having a strong sense of identity and connection to our ancestors is vital to community wellness, development and sustainability.

Youth Visionaries

Ocean Hyland

Artist, Ethnobotanist & Language Speaker, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ

Ocean Hyland is a səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), and Xwchíyò:m (Cheam) activist, ethnobotanist and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim language speaker.

Salia Joseph

BA, Language Teacher, Executive Director and Consultant, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw

Salia Joseph is from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Snuneymuxw First Nations. She has her BA in First Nations and Indigenous studies from UBC and is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim language teacher with a diploma from SFU. Salia is the executive director of Kwi Awt Stelmexw a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and she co-owns Host Consulting Inc., focusing on language revitalization, education and community.

Cyler Point Sparrow

Public Artist, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm

Cyler Point Sparrow is an up-and-coming Coast Salish youth artist from Musqueam who has his foot in the door for becoming an established artist. His role models are his grandmother Debra Sparrow and late uncle Beau Dick, who have inspired Cyler to carry on their work and voice. Expect to see great things from this exceptional young man in the near future.

Sekawnee Baker

Afro-Indigenous Producer, Musician and Artist, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm & Tla'amin

Your Hosts

Sierra Tasi Baker

MSc, BEnvD, Indigenous Urban Design Consultant, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw

Sierra (she/them) is from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and is also xʷməθkʷəy̓əm  (Musqueam), Kwakwaka’wakw/Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw, Tɫingit, and Magyar. Sierra focuses on decolonization through design. She has her MSc in Sustainable Urbanism from UCL and her BEnvD in Environmental Design from UBC. She is the lead Indigenous urban design consultant at her family practice Sky Spirit Studio + Consulting.

Ta7talíya Paisley Nahanee

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw

Ta7talíya Paisley Nahanee (she/her) hails from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation village of Eslha7an. She is a decolonial facilitator, graphic designer, consultant and community organizer who also lends her body to frontline work. Her work is all based in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh teachings and driven by sharing equity with with marginalized folks.

Honouring Afrofuturism

“Afrofuturism is the reimagining of a future filled with arts, science and technology seen through a Black lens.”

— Jamie Broadnax (HuffPost, 2018)

"Our hands are up to the Black community. As Indigenous people we choose to honour these incredible visions as we move forward with Indigenous Futures and MST Futures and how we can work together. In particular we are excited to work with Squamish Nation and Afro-Indigenous leader Orene Askew and Afrofuturism historian Krystal Paraboo to continue these conversations."

— Sierra Tasi Baker & Paisley Eva Nahanee

Krystal Paraboo has developed a video outlining the history of Afro-Futurism as a starting point for navigating these conversations. Please watch this video before attending the panel.

Follow the Future

Imagining MST Futures is a city-centred revisioning project giving xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Matriarchs, Afro-Indigneous leadership and youth agency to re-envision the built form. 

Follow the Future at the Instagram hub @mstfuturism

#afrofuturism #indigenousfuturism #mstfuturism

This event is hosted in partnership with Other Sights and SFU Public Square.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.