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Artwork created by Brad Henry

Centering Indigenous Joy: A Celebration of Literature, Arts, and Creativity

2023, Equity + Justice, Indigenous Voices, Arts + Culture

In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, we co-hosted a celebration of Indigenous literature, art, and creativity. The evening was curated by artist and storyteller Nathan Adler and the Word Vancouver literary festival, and presented in partnership with 312 MainCity of VancouverGovernment of British ColumbiaCanada Council for the ArtsPace AccountingUBC School of Creative Writing, and SFU Library.

This was a free event, but donations to the Urban Native Youth Association were encouraged. Donate directly to UNYA online.

Sat, 17 Jun 2023

5:30 p.m. (PT)

312 Main street gathering space

Vancouver, BC V6A 2T2

Event hosts

Nathan Adler

Nathan Adler is an author, artist, and storyteller. He was invited by Word Vancouver to be the Guest Indigenous Curator for the literary festival. Nathan is the author of Wrist and Ghost Lake and co-editor of Bawaajigan: Stories of Power, with an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. He is a recipient of an Indigenous Voices Award for Published English Prose and a Hnatyshyn Reveal award for literature. He is Jewish and Ojibwe, and a member of Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation.

King Fisher (he/him/they/them)

Born on the traditional territories of the Ktunaxa (tu-na-ha) Nation, King Fisher is the trans masc of your dreams.

His jawline could cut glass, his fake beard could melt away at any moment, his muscles are made of silicone and he knows how to have a good time. What more could anyone possibly ask for?

Performers

KeAloha (she/they)

"Dynamic, multi-pronged musical paradise. Grounded, Elevated, oceanic, bars, all of it" (Music Waste Festival 2022). ​KeAloha weaves soundscapes of Indigi-Pop wonder, fluidly owning the stage as a vocalist, drummer, and dancer. 

KeAloha is a mixed-Indigenous and chronically-ill artist based in "Vancouver, BC". Their music carries essences of alt RnB, Pop, and sounds from her mixed-Indigeneity. Lianne La Havas meets Anderson Paak, Keali’i Reichel meets Thundercat. With the grounding force of their foundation as a drummer, KeAloha’s music packs treats for those with a decolonial sweet tooth. 

KeAloha’s debut album is rooting to bloom in 2023, where they invite us into a world of Indigenous Futurisms.

Brad Henry

Singer songwriter Brad Henry is of Vun Tut Gwitch’in and Inland Tlingit heritage. He is from Whitehorse, Yukon and raised in Vancouver. He learned to play guitar at grade school and by listening to and emulating his aunt Rosalie Tizya and his four uncles who played rock, country and folk music. Brad’s mother and three aunts also sang on the weekends at a local radio station in Whitehorse YT. 

Brad has performed his music live on Aboriginal Voices (CTV), The Mix (APTN), Buffalo Tracks (APTN), and Aboriginal Arts and Entertainment (APTN). He released his debut CD titled Outta The Blue in 2000. His single titled Una Rosa Para Ti was featured in the Adam Beach movie The Art Of Woo.  In 2020, Brad released his second album Take Me Back, and he is currently taking gigs. Most recently, in 2022, he performed at the Asinabka Festival (Ottawa), the Fusion Festival (Surrey), Canada Day Celebrations (Surrey), and The Christmas Tree Lighting Festival (Vancouver). Brad is based in Vancouver and is also a visual artist.

Savannah Erasmus (she/her/hers)

Savannah is a "fashion" comedian and writer currently based in Vancouver, from Kikino Metis Settlement and Cold Lake First Nation, in Treaty 6 Territory. 
 
Her Indigenous perspective and "fashion focused" lens create a fresh and unique stand-up persona that audiences adore. She co-hosts and co-produces Camp Comedy and Millennial Line and has performed in the JFL Vancouver Comedy Festival, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Big Fun Festival, and Unibrow Arts Festival.

Kwiigay iiwaans (they/them)

Kwiigay iiwaans is a queer disabled multidisciplinary artist from the Haida, Squamish, and Musqueam nations. They explore decolonial 2SQTIBIPOC futurisms through mediums of electronic music, illustration, formline design, beadwork, and animation. They are a committed language learner of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim and X̱aad kíl, the Squamish and Haida languages.

They live and work in X̱epx̱ápay̓ay, Vancouver, BC.

Vendors

The following vendors had tables at this event, with their artwork, goods, and crafts available for purchase:

 

Event partners

Accessibility

Accessibility

312 Main is an accessible building, with ramp access via the Cordova street entrance.

Accessible and all-gender washrooms are located by the front entrance beside the front desk and at the southeast corner of the ground floor.

The building is accessible by several bus lines. Plan your trip with TransLink’s Trip Planner.

Metered street parking available and a number of parkades nearby.

Indoor guest bike parking available.

Community guidelines

Our community guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of all guest speakers and event participants, and to foster honest, socially accountable dialogue at our events. Thank you for respecting these guidelines!

  • Above all, there will be zero tolerance for those who promote violence or discrimination against others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, or disability. Anyone who incites harm towards other participants will be removed at the discretion of our team and moderator.
  • Don’t assume pronouns/gender/knowledge based on someone’s name or appearance. Please refer to people using the names and/or pronouns they provide.
  • Take space, make space: share your perspective, and make space for other voices to be heard too. Recognize that we are all here to learn.