Ms. Muriel Stanley Venne has made a name for herself as a champion of human rights in the Province of Alberta. This Métis woman’s career as a human rights advocate began in 1973 when former Premier Peter Lougheed appointed her one of the first seven commissioners to the Alberta Human Rights Commission. In honour of her commitment and work in the area of human rights, Ms. Stanley Venne was presented with the Alberta Human Rights Award on the 25th Anniversary of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Ms. Stanley Venne has also spent much of her career working on behalf of women. She founded the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, an organization that strives to promote opportunities for women. As president, she hosted the Aboriginal Women’s Human Rights Symposium and the Gathering Our Strength – Violence Against Aboriginal Women Conference in Edmonton. Her booklet,The Rights Path – Alberta, was endorsed by Mary Robinson, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ms. Stanley Venne’s efforts have been recognized by many groups and organizations. She received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Appreciation Award from the Native Counseling Services of Alberta, the Métis Woman of the Year Award from the Women of the Métis Nation and the Outstanding Young Woman Award from Canadian Merit. Many say that Ms. Stanley Venne’s work in the areas of human rights and social justice has led to empowerment for many Aboriginal people. Tenacious and tireless, Ms. Stanley Venne has advanced the fair and equal treatment of Aboriginal people within all levels of society.
Roxanne Blood a citizen of the Kainai Nation, mother to 4 beautiful daughters, Amber, Kayla, Shyan, Seanna and my significant other Wayne. I enjoyed being part of the collaboration and bearing witness to the work that enfolded throughout the length of the project.I want to take this time to thank the youth that took the risks of speaking up and sharing your insights, personal journeys and dreams through your art, sculptures, photographs and stories. The time you invested throughout the project, I can attest that you can all make a tremendous difference where ever you choose to direct your energy. I thank you for your wisdom, your laughter and your tears. You planted seeds of hope in making your community a better place. We can bear witness to your strengths and dreams which all of you have made this a project a memory to strive for the future of the children yet to come…Hiy Hiy.
Carl Bessai is a director, producer, writer and cinematographer. His award winning feature films have won international critical acclaim at numerous festivals including Sundance, Berlin, and Toronto and have been released theatrically around the world. Feature dramas include Johnny (1999), Lola (2001), Emile (2003), Severed (2005), Unnatural & Accidental (2006), Normal (2007), Mothers & Daughters (2009), Cole (2009), Fathers & Sons (2010), Repeaters (2010), Sisters & Brothers (2011), No Clue (2013), and Bad City (2014).He is a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada, the Writer’s Guild of Canada, the Iatse 669 Camera Local, and the Canadian Media Producer’s Association.
Raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Jesse Gouchey grew up drawing and sketching as a hobby while competing with siblings for best quality art. Learning as much about fine art as he could in school, Jesse took to street art and graffiti to satisfy his need for colour and expression. After working in, then leaving the oil patch to move to Calgary, Jesse began mixing traditional west coast native styles with modern media, and began selling canvasses. Curating, exhibiting and collaborating in many shows he has shown in several galleries around Central Alberta.Jesse received animation training in Quickdraw Animation’s Aboriginal Youth Animation Project and The National Film board of Canada. Jesse was recently a junior artist on an Aboriginal graphic novel, and enjoys how his
art has brought him closer to his Cree heritage.
Xstine Cook is a settler ally from Calgary who makes masks, puppets and other interesting objects. She is a self-taught film maker. Xstine studied mask and puppetry in Bali, Italy, France, California, and the West Coast of Canada, and trained at the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre in California. She is a founder of Green Fools Theatre. Xstine is currently the Artistic Director and Founder of Calgary Animated Objects Society (CAOS), and Curator of the International Festival of Animated Objects, a biennial festival of mask and puppetry in Calgary. Xstine lives in the house behind which Gloria Black Plume was murdered. For 11 years she sought contact with Gloria’s family, and searched for an Aboriginal artist to create a memorial mural. This film is the result of that search.
Lorna Martin waapanaahtahk iskew Morning Star Woman is a widowed mother of three adult sons is a member of the Bigstone Cree nation in Alberta. Lorna currently works in the Aboriginal Education Centre, MacEwan University and is completing studies in Social Work at MacEwan University. Lorna’s mother Marie Jean Kreiser (nee St. Savard) has been missing since 1987.
Artist Haley Pukanski is a nineteen year old multidisciplinary artist from Edmonton. Haley’s main focus is photography, but her work also includes installations and design. She is currently finishing her degree in design at Macewan University. Haley’s works are mostly influenced by women’s issues and environmental stability, and how these change as she moves and grows. In 2014, she became is a contributor to the LCQ collective, and a founder of ARTRA. In the same year Haley received two Jason Lang scholarships. This year Haley is working with Not Enough Festival Edmonton.
Holly Hughes is an emerging artist from Edmonton whose interdisciplinary practice is grounded in intermedia and printmaking. She implements the use of everyday materials, video, sound, and her body in installation and performance-based works. Her creative practice functions as a reactionary process to events in her life, exploring personal identity in relation to the social environments in which one lives, and critiquing how these environments can impact an individual’s growth and development.
Leila Plouffe is currently in her third year of her BFA at the University of Alberta. Themes frequently dealt with in Plouffe’s work include memory, identity and semiotics, often realized through video, photography and sculptural installation; this theme also translates into Plouffe’s work in printmaking and painting. Plouffe’s interest in this theme stems from a desire to explore the ways in which materials and environments influence our identities and to deal with the subtle, fleeting and immeasurable nature of those identities and their formation.
Breanna Barrignton: Painting, Printmaking, and Intermedia. I am currently developing my artistic practice through these three disciplines as a 3rd year BFA student at the University of Alberta. Recently I have been playing around with the narrative of renaissance paintings to generate contemporary meanings. Because of its unusual power inversion, the story of Judith beheading Holofernes has been a reoccurring theme in my visual work.
Angèle Karosi is an emerging multi disciplinary artist with works in private collections across Canada. She attended Concordia University in Montreal, QC for Art History and Studio Artsand MacEwan University for Arts and Cultural Management and open art studies.
Tiffany Adair + Yukari Muldrum: Tiffany Adair is an emerging artist from Edmonton, Alberta. She is currently seeking out new opportunities for her artwork and education and is excited for what lays ahead of her. Yukari Meldrum is a first generation Japanese-Canadian and reads and writes whenever she feels like it. Words simply fascinate her.
Emily Lynn MacDonald is a feminist artist, creative writer, and occasionally a curator. She has a degree in communications with a focus in critical theory, cultural criticism, and creative writing. Her most recent self directed project Other Dis Courses is a night school researching alternative forms of arts education through which she has organized spontaneous public performances, meetings, and screenings. She is currently working on a collection of prose poetry.
Xavery Gray is a fifteen year old local singer/song writer, who has been performing since the age of six. Over the last 5 years she has picked up both guitar and piano, which has further motivated her to start writing and composing her own songs and music. Xavery has performed on the Telus Stage at K-Days as well as the Family Stage at Big Valley Jamboree. She has also taken part in competitions, such as the Edmonton Youth Talent Show, where her performance was described as “intense and soulful”. Xavery is an artist who prides herself on authenticity and is very excited to continue to explore what her musical future holds for her.
Singer Anna-Leah King is a student in the Faculty of Education, Policy Studies – Indigenous Peoples Education, at the University of Alberta. She is Odawa and Pottawattimi from Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She has learned many songs along the way from friends and relatives. Tonight she is willing to share a song in honour of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and their families.