Happy Indigenous History Month!

June 26, 2020
Am Johal and Ginger Gosnell-Myers

From everyone here at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, we’d like to celebrate Indigenous History Month. We want to highlight some of the Indigenous thinkers, academics, and artists we’ve had the opportunity to work with this year through both our podcast Below the Radar and our public programming.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the different cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and some key barriers and prejudices Indigenous folks often face in this country.

Jarrett Martineau (left) and Am Johal recording an episode of Below the Radar.

Our Office’s podcast Below the Radar has featured a variety of Indigenous guests, including Nisga’a-Kwakwaka’wakw urban planner, researcher, and policy expert Ginger Gosnell-Myers; the City of Vancouver’s Music Planner and host of CBC Music’s Reclaimed, Jarrett Martineau; and author and professor Glen Coulthard.

Indigenizing the City of Vancouver — with Ginger Gosnell-Myers

In episode 14 of Below the Radar, Ginger Gosnell-Myers joined us to discuss her previous work as the City of Vancouver’s first Indigenous Relations Manager. She talks about a need for greater access to services for Indigenous folks in the city, and for more meaningful engagement with — and acknowledgement of — First Nations’ governance at the municipal level. She shares her thoughts on building an understanding of urban Aboriginal identity and Indigenizing Vancouver through increased political representation and the sustainable funding of Indigenous community planning.

Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week — with Joleen Mitton

In episode 29, we spoke with the founder of the Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week, Joleen Mitton. In this interview, she talks about how and why she started the fashion show, her past experiences as a teenage model and Indigenous youth mentor, and her collaborations with critically acclaimed Indigenous artist Beau Dick.

Music in the City — with Jarrett Martineau

How well do you know the local music scene in Vancouver? In our 33rd episode of Below the Radar, we sat down with Jarrett Martineau, a figure who is very well acquainted with the music scene both locally and abroad. On a local level, Jarrett works as the Music Planner for the City of Vancouver, where he works hard to support the Vancouver music scene and all aspects within that. He is also the host of Reclaimed, a weekly series on CBC Music that explores the many worlds of contemporary Indigenous music. We talked to Jarrett about how affordability affects available venues and the diverse array of music being created within the city. 

An Ethical Approach to Research — with Nicolas Crier and Scott Neufeld

In episode 34, we examined ethical research while speaking to Scott Neufield and Nicolas Crier. In collaboration with other folks in the Downtown Eastside and Hives for Humanity, they co-authored Research 101: A Manifesto for Ethical Research in the Downtown Eastside to help facilitate a wider conversation on ethics in cultural production, such as research, media, and artmaking. Together, they discuss how this project came to be, the profound impact it has had for the community, and what’s at stake for ethical research in the Downtown Eastside.

Blanketing the City with Arts and Culture — with Kamala Todd

In Vancouver, discussions surrounding arts and culture are imperative, especially in relation to continued efforts towards decolonization. Indigenous Arts and Culture Planner for the City of Vancouver Kamala Todd tackles this topic with her work, including her contributions to the 2020-2029 cultural plan: Culture | Shift: Blanketing the city in arts and culture. Kamala previously worked as the Aboriginal Social Planner with the City of Vancouver, and continues her work as a cultural advisor and filmmaker. In this episode, Kamala shares what steps the city has taken, and what more needs to be done, to combat the ever-present consequences of colonization.

Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition — with Glen Coulthard

Glen Coulthard (Yellowknives Dene) and is an associate professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is also the author of the acclaimed book Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition from University of Minnesota Press. On this special episode live from the Vancouver Podcast Festival, host Am Johal sits down with Glen to talk about who and what influences his work and research, the different projects he’s been involved in over the years, and what continues to inspire him to do the work he does.

Alongside our episode featuring Indigenous guests on Below the Radar, we also suggest you check out some Indigenous podcasts. Here are a few of our favourites: Coffee With My MaMissing & Murdered: Finding Cleo, and This Land.

Additional Indigenous Programming

In addition to our podcast, we also would like to share recordings of two Indigenous focused events we hosted this year.

Panelists at Decolonizing the City: The Future of Indigenous Planning. From left: Kamala Todd, Spencer Lindsay, Rena Soutar, and Ginger Gosnell-Myers.

Decolonizing the City: The Future of Indigenous Planning in Vancouver

On September 25, 2019, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, the PIBC South Coast Chapter and the Vancouver City Planning Commission hosted a panel that explored the work of Indigenous planners in Vancouver. The discussion looked at what it takes to strengthen relations and create new practices and policies with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and with urban Indigenous communities, from a City of Vancouver context. Panelists eflected on what reconciliation means for city planning, how Indigenous Planning in Vancouver has changed over time, and what Indigenous rights means for urban planning today.

Songs of the Land: Tracing Global Pathways In Indigenous Music

How do contemporary Indigenous musical forms connect us to the land around us, and offer opportunities to build relationships of solidarity and understanding across oceans and continents? This conversation features Yorta Yorta hip-hop artist Neil Morris (DRMNGNOW) from so-called Australia, Musqueam-Tsleil Waututh artist, storyteller and Vancouver poet laureate, Christie Lee Charles, and moderator Jarrett Martineau (nehiyaw/Denesuline), the City of Vancouver’s Music Planner and host of CBC’s Reclaimed. Together, they discuss the ways song and music express deep connections to land and place.

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