First Nation representation in museums and film have exploded in recent years. The importance of ‘seeing yourself’ in the mainstream cannot be understated and the success of shows like Cleverman in Australia and Rutherford Falls in the US continue to highlight that importance. Additionally, innovative and ground-breaking exhibitions like Apsáalooke Women and Warriors at the Field Museum in Chicago and Unsettled at the Australian Museum illustrate the ways in which material culture can be used to educate and advocate. Representation matters but what does representation mean to First Nation actors working in these spaces? How is representation imagined? How is the anthropological record turned on its head and reimagined? What kinds of representation are we looking for in anthropology? This plenary offers up some extraordinary accounts on the issue of representation.
Associate Professor Michael Greyeyes, (he/him), Creative Director Signal Theatre and York University
Professor Greyeyes is a choreographer, actor, director, and the founding artistic director of Toronto’s Signal Theatre, a company that engages in practiced-based research to create live performance, exploring dance, opera, music, design and the spoken word. Signal is currently developing two major new works: Bearing, a dance opera that delves into Canada’s Indian residential school legacy, and Gallábárnit, a Sami language opera that is a collaboration with Soundstreams Canada, Musik I Syd (Sweden) and Beaivváŝ, the National Sami Theatre.
Professor Greyeyes’ directorial credits include Pimooteewin, the first Cree language opera, with libretto by Tomson Highway (Soundstreams Canada); Almighty Voice and his Wife, which toured across Canada and to London/UK (Native Earth Performing Arts); The River (Nakai Theatre, Yukon); and the short film Seven Seconds for Toronto’s imagineNATIVE film + media arts festival. His screen credits include Woman Walks Ahead, The New World, True Detective, Rutherford Falls, I Know This Much is True and Wild Indian.
Professor Greyeyes has a publication record that highlights the need for representation of Native voices and stories.
Dr Deana Dartt, (she/her), Live Oak Consulting
Dr Dartt, member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, and is the founder of Live Oak Consulting in Eugene, Oregon, an organization committed to reshaping public narratives about Native people and assisting institutions in their efforts to be more accountable and responsive to Native communities (www.liveoaknative.com). She recently served as the Anne Ray Fellow at the School for Advanced Research where she revised her dissertation manuscript, "Subverting the Master Narrative" which examines distorted representations of Native cultures and histories in the Franciscan Missions and other public history sites in California. She earned her MA in Archaeology and PhD in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Museum Studies from the University of Oregon (go Ducks!). She then served as Curator of Native American Ethnology at the Burke Museum and American Indian Studies faculty at the University of Washington from 2008-2011, and from 2011-2017 as the Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum. Dartt lives in Cottage Grove, Oregon with her daughter, Allukoy.
Nina Sanders, (she/her), independent First Nations GLAM professional
Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke) is a curator of historic and contemporary Native American art, as well as a writer and beadwork artist. She has worked with numerous institutions and is a contributing writer for First American Art Magazine, Native American Art Magazine, and several other publications. She has served as a curator for documenta14 and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and is the author and editor of several books.
In 2019-2020, Ms Sanders was a Visiting Fellow at the Neubauer Collegium where she curated the exhibition Apsáalooke Women and Warriors in collaboration with Neubauer Collegium Curator Dieter Roelstraete. The Neubauer Collegium exhibition functions as a mirror image, in part, of the Field Museum exhibition, also titled Apsáalooke Women and Warriors. Ms Sanders’ curation critically engages with the discipline of anthropology, museum studies and Indigenous studies; her approaches reflects her deep cultural commitment to her community, her Ancestors and her rich heritage.
Nathan Sentence, (he/him) and Jodie Dowd, (she/her), independent First Nations GLAM professionals
Jodie Dowd is a Noongar (Wangai, Gitja, Menang) weaver, curator and consultant. Jodie is passionate about promoting First Nations agency in the care, access and interpretation of cultural collections through cross-cultural knowledge exchanges with community, national and international cultural institutions.
Nathan “mudyi” Sentance is a Wiradjuri librarian and museum educator who grew up on Darkinjung Country. Nathan currently works at the Australian Museum as the Digital Program manager and writes about critical librarianship and critical museology from a First Nations perspective. His writing has been previously published in the Guardian, Cordite Poetry, the Lifted Brow and Sydney Review of Books and on own his own blog The Archival Decolonist.