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November 2018

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33 Designers & ARTISTS.18 Nations.
3 Runways. 9 PERFORMANCES.

Otahpiaaki 2018: Indigenous Beauty, Fashion, and Design Week, is one of six Otahpiaaki projects created at Mount Royal University. This year’s theme is Pride and Protest and features an inspiring Nation-to-Nation exchange among Indigenous artists, designers, and creatives and audiences in and around Mohkinstsis. We believe that the work of reconciliation is for neighbours and that important conversations and teachings can be shared through creative and artistic practices.

This year we have partnered with Atlantic Avenue Arts Block and Espy Experience in Historic Inglewood. We are excited to have our designer/artists and vendor pop-ups located in Espy Experience for the duration of the three showcases, as well as host our Friday night show.



Thursday 7pm

Performance: Status Savage

Brenda Lee Asp

Carol Mason

Jesse Gouchey

Karli Crowshoe

Sage Paul

Sammy Jo Bird

Tala Tootoosis

Tobi Davis Eagle Speaker


Friday 7pm

Performance: JB The First Lady

Brandi Morin

Carol Mason

Catherine Blackburn

Derek Jagodzinsky

Jaymie Campbell

Karli Crowshoe

Sammy Jo Bird

Serene Weasel Traveller

Shana Pasapa

Tala Tootoosis

Tobi Davis Eagle Speaker

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Saturday 7pm

Performance: Moe Clark

Performance: Naataanii Means

Angel Aubichon/ Alex Manitopyes

Carol Mason

Heather Crowshoe

Helen Oro

Jamie Medicine Crane

Jaymie Campbell

Justin Louis

Sage Paul

This is about Indigenous artists becoming economic leaders in Canadian Society. This is about Indigenous artists becoming their own and owning what’s theirs.
This is about activism and reconciliation.
— Spirit River Striped Wolf (Piikani Nation)
Featured:   Luxx Ready-to-Wear   Photo: Inner Sense Pictures

Featured: Luxx Ready-to-Wear
Photo: Inner Sense Pictures

Featured: Brenda Lee Asp Photo: Marshall Dunnet Photography

Featured: Brenda Lee Asp
Photo: Marshall Dunnet Photography

Featured: Jamie Medicine Crane Earrings: Donna Peeteetuce Photo: Vian Esterhuizen

Featured: Jamie Medicine Crane Earrings: Donna Peeteetuce
Photo: Vian Esterhuizen


Treaty Yo Self

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(c) BLKFT/Richard Sparvier, 2018

(c) BLKFT/Richard Sparvier, 2018

(c) Nite Sun 2018

(c) Nite Sun 2018

(c) JB The First Lady, 2018

(c) JB The First Lady, 2018

(c) Naát’áaníí Nez Means, 2018

(c) Naát’áaníí Nez Means, 2018

Treaty Yo Self @the Calgary Tower

BLKFT takes the lead on music direction for Otahpiaaki 2018. A whole new take on Soundcloud, everyone is invited to the TREATY YO SELF HIP HOP INSPIRED AFTER PARTY atop the Calgary Tower. We conclude PRIDE & PROTEST with this music showcase organized by Drumbeat Productions (Richard Sparvier (Siksika Nation); Indigenous Resilience in Music (IRIM) Curtis Lefthand (Siksika, Ampskapi Piikani, and Stoney Nations); and HEAL (Helping Every Artist Live) Alanna Onespot (Tsuut'ina and Siksika Nations). Check out the BLKFT RezHouse flows.

TREATY YO SELF performers include Nite Sun (East Prairie Métis Settlement); BLKFT (Siksika Nation); JB The First Lady (Nuxalk & Onodaga Nation) and Naát'áaníí Nez Means (Oglala Lakota/Omaha/Dine, Navajo Nations).

NITE SUN, traditionally known as Tipiskâw Pîsim, her Cree spirit name is reflected through the english translation of her stage name “Nite Sun.” She’s a Cree-Queer-Métis culture carrier who embraces, teaches, and continues to learn about her cultural identity through her music. She also prefers she/her and does not mind him/he pronouns. Her homeland is out on the East Prairie Métis Settlement, located in Northern Alberta on Treaty 8 Territory. She is a childcare worker, a Métis dancer, an entrepreneur, and is currently working on becoming an inspirational and motivational speaker along with being an emcee. Nite Sun on Soundcloud…

JB THE FIRST LADY (Nuxalk & Onondaga Nations), is a Vancouver-based hip hop and spoken word artist, beat-boxer, cultural dancer and youth educator. With four studio albums under her belt, JB sees her songs as a way of capturing oral history, and isn’t afraid to write lyrics that speak to challenging subjects like residential schools and missing and murdered indigenous women. She returns to the Otahpiaaki live talent line-up for 2018. Check out her new track Still Here (2018).

Naát’áaníí NEZ MEANS (Oglala Lakota/Omaha/Dine, Navajo Nation) is a hip hop artist, Oglala Lakota, Omaha, and Diné, born and raised in Chinle, AZ on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. At 11, Naataanii was writing poetry and involved with music, encouraged by his father Russell Means who transferred his gifts and legacies of activism and achievement as the co-founder of the American Indian Movement.

Means has been championing Indigenous issues since he began making music in 2009 while studying at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Naataanii is a water protector, an occupant at Standing Rock, and most recently at the Mount Music Festival protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Balance (2018) is available on iTunes.





The Road Forward by Director Marie Clements (Métis) is an electrifying musical documentary that connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today.

Interviews and musical sequences describe how a tiny movement, the Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood, grew to become a successful voice for change across the country. Visually stunning, The Road Forward seamlessly connects past and present through superbly produced story-songs with soaring vocals, blues, rock, and traditional beats.


Rainbow Warriors (2018)

Derek Jagodzinsky (LUXX Ready-to-Wear) will debut Rainbow Warriors, his fashion film, the night of November 10th within the Calgary Tower. Derek holds a Masters in Industrial Design from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design. His designs have been featured in the Native Fashion Now exhibit that toured throughout the United States, with the finale at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.




Practicing appreciation. Countering cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is the unauthorized taking of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. especially by those who represent a group in a more powerful social and political position. Cultural appreciation is approaching another culture with respect and courtesy by taking the time to learn about it, interact with people among the culture, and actually understand it (Metcalfe, 2015; National Bioneers Conference, 2018).

Otahpiaaki workshops afford many opportunities to learn about protocol, artistic practices, materials, and the issues behind each unique artistic practice. We are thankful to welcome such a diverse series as a part of Pride & Protest 2018.

All are welcome to listen, learn, and exchange.

Poo’miikapi Shawl & Quilt Workshop – Otahpiaaki Indigo Dye
Tuesday November 6th: 9:00 a.m. (Opening prayers) – 3:00 p.m. (Closing)
Wednesday November 7th: 9:00 a.m. (Opening prayers) – 3:00 p.m. (Closing)
Thursday November 8th: 9:00 a.m. (Opening prayers) – 3:00 p.m. (Closing)
$40 per project (Includes a personal shawl + Community square). Main Street.

Come for a day or spread your work out over several. Elder Carola Jones will share her one-of-a-kind knowledge and stories as a remnant member, daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of the Tuscarora Confederacy. Participants will learn about the indigo ceremony and protocol and will develop a hand-dyed shawl project, and contribute a tile for the Otahpiaaki 2018 Community Healing Quilt. Otahpiaaki’s own indigo crops are featured as part of the project.

Quilting by Carola Jones.

Quilting by Carola Jones.


Beading & Jewellery Making Circle – One Day Only!
Wednesday November 7th: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
$10-$20 per piece. Main Street.

With designers from 18 Nations at Otahpiaaki 2018, there are a wide variety of styles of beading, jewelery-making, materials, and handcrafts. Check the website for all artists offering drop-in classes, but expect Hand Rattle Earrings with Tara Sun, Pow Wow Earrings with Tobi Eagle Speaker, and wearable technology accessories with Angel Aubichon.  

Jewellery by Angel Aubichon.

Jewellery by Angel Aubichon.


Ledger Art Workshop Hosted by John Pepion
Wednesday November 7th: 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
$10. Main Street.

This event opens with a short lecture on the history of ledger art and is followed by an art-making session where individuals will make their own ledger art piece based on their own story.

Artwork by John Pepion.

Artwork by John Pepion.


Activism 101 – Warrior Skirts, Protest Shirts, and Political Posters
Thursday November 8th: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
$10-$20 per piece. Main Street.

Pick your protest! Tala Tootoosis will fire up the sewing machines to guide you through a ribbon skirt perfect for Pow Wow; Jesse Gouchey returns with his oxidized t-shirts; and our very own Autumn Eagle Speaker will share all she knows about non-violent, high impact protest messaging and posters.

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Rhythm of the People – Spoken Word, Poetry and Hip Hop with Naát'áaníí Nez Means and JB The First Lady
Friday November 9th: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. All Ages. U111.
Saturday November 10th (Otahpiaaki Pre-show Cipher)

Otahpiaaki is pleased to partner with Indigenous Resilience in Music and Drum Beat Productions for this day of youth mentorship and creativity that explores Indigenous identity, resurgence and activism with Naát’áaníí Means. Develop your voice in circle and with the support of fellow learners and artists.

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Sahpahtsimah Rising Youth Grant Writing
Friday November 9th: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Free. All Ages. EB 3047.

Are you a creative youth aged 15 to 30? #RisingYouth and Otahpiaaki are partnering with four incredible artists Justin Louis (SECTION 35), Jesse Gouchey (Maskwa), NDN Family and Moe Clark for this hands-on creative workshop which includes your ideas and taking action to make them happen. You'll write a micro-grant for your creative project -- music, fashion, performance or any inspired idea. Learn how to get started and earn funding for your project!

Brenn Dacity, Justin Louis (SECTION 35), LB Savage, True Awattsinaaw

Brenn Dacity, Justin Louis (SECTION 35), LB Savage, True Awattsinaaw


The Panels

Courageous: Aksistoiyipaittapiiysinni
Hosted by Riley Kucheran (Ryerson University)
Tuesday November 6th: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Free. EB 3047.

Otahpiaaki is pleased to co-present this panel of creatives with Voices – Calgary’s coalition of Two-Spirit and Racialized LGBTQIA+. Being folks with intersectional identities requires finding courageous pathways in pursuit of our goals in our communities. This conversation will explore pride in one’s identities and how intersectional pride cultivates courage, creativity, and growth.


Helping Others: Aispomotsiop
Hosted by Taryn Hamilton (Mount Royal University)
Thursday November 8th: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Free. EB 3047.

dsquaw by Dsqaured2, Reservation Royalty by Party City. Changing the nature of intellectual property law seems like an insurmountable obstacle. Hear directly from designers and artists affected by the theft of their ideas and learn how technology and elders, an unlikely pairing move Indigenous designs into safer spaces, where prerogative, documentation and the ability to license or litigate are made clear to the design and fashion community.


Decolonizing Research: Aistommatop - SOLD OUT!
A Faculty Breakfast Hosted by Ben Barry & Riley Kucheran (Ryerson)
Friday November 9th: 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m
Free. MRU Faculty Centre. W315.

Decolonize research, Indigenize research, or both? This panel discusses the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the academy are working through the problematics and opportunities of post-colonial scholarly approaches, including early learning, near misses, and mistakes made while breaking new ground in a variety of disciplines. Tangible examples of artistic production and journal writing will be provided.

Every teacher has been a victim and a beneficiary of the same educational system. We are in the same circle. We are all learners. We must become critical learners and healers within a wounded space.
— Marie Battiste, 2018 - Mount Royal University