Announces Lectures and Panels Featuring Kent Monkman, Jesse Wente, Devon Fiddler, Barbara Teller Ornelas and Jeneen Frei Njootli

For Immediate Release: May 15, 2018 · Please add to your listings/announcements


Announces Lectures and Panels Featuring

Kent Monkman, Jesse Wente, Devon Fiddler,

Barbara Teller Ornelas and Jeneen Frei Njootli

The inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) is excited to announce its FREE lectures and panels series, creating access for all audiences to understand Indigenous fashion and craft on a deeper level. IFWTO takes place May 31 – June 3, 2018 at Harbourfront Centre, presenting the most distinct and progressive Indigenous artists working in fashion, textiles and craft.

IFWTO lectures and panels provide opportunities for attendees to participate in discussions on a range of topics including a conversation with special guest Kent Monkman, one of Canada’s most renowned artists, who will discuss the role of fashion and radical image-making in his work with moderator Kerry Swanson (Development Director, IFWTO). Additional panelistsinclude Barbara Teller (Navajo Rug Weaver), Anjli Patel (Fashion Lawyer), Jesse Wente (pop culture thought-leader and critic), Jeneen Frei Njootli (Artist and Designer), Denise Bolduc (Creative Director, Producer & Programmer) and representatives from Shopify, Artscape and Ryerson University, School of Fashion.

The IFWTO lectures and panels are free of charge and include:


Indigenous Dyes & Fibres of Turtle Island | June 1, 11:30AM

A two-part lecture featuring IFWTO workshop facilitators Carola Jones (Black Walnut Dyeing) and Barbara Teller Ornelas (Navajo Rug Weaving). Our presenters are masters in their practices and carry generations of knowledge in dyeing and weaving. Carola and Barbara will introduce their teachings of traditional and sustainable materials and ways of making with weaving and dyeing, including how culture, story and process inform these materials.


Fashion, Symbolism and Radical Imagery: In Conversation with Kent Monkman | June 1, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

One of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Kent Monkman will discuss the pivotal role of fashion in his work, from his Louis Vuitton quill bag, to the elaborate regalia of his alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, and his recent collaborations with Jean Paul Gaultier.

Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Values-Driven Approaches and Practical Tools for Success | June 2, 11:30am – 1:30pm

A panel discussion exploring practical tools and technologies enabling Indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive in a competitive landscape. Jerrold McGrath (Artscape Launchpad), Denise Bolduc (Producer and Programmer), Devon Fiddler (SheNative), Sage Paul (IFWTO) and a Shopify representative will discuss Indigenous values-based approaches to creating sustainable and conscious businesses to foster successful artist entrepreneurs in retail, art exhibition and festival presentations.

Cultural (In)Appropriation | June 2, 3:30pm – 5:30pm

With Jesse Wente (Writer, Broadcaster, Producer and Speaker), Ariel Smith (Native Women in the Arts) and Anjli Patel (Fashion Lawyer and Trademark Agent), this panel explores the legal and ethical implications of “borrowing” or “appreciating” from oppressed cultures, who benefits and profits from cultural appropriation, and what is the protocol, if there is one, for a general consumer when wearing another cultures’ adornments.


Indigenous Futurisms: Fashion | June 2, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

To understand Indigenous futurisms is to understand the past and present sovereignty and reclamation of Indigenous cultures. This panel brings together Elwood Jimmy (Curator), Jeneen Frei Njootli (Artist & Designer), Skawennati Fragnito (New Media Artist) to discuss Indigenous influence and definitions as vital to the future, technology and innovation in fashion.

Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto is a four-day multi-platform festival of the most distinct and progressive Indigenous-made fashion, craft and textiles launching May 31-June 3, 2018, challenging mainstream perceptions of Indigenous people and culture, which are often stereotyped, commodified or exploited. IFWTO is led by Indigenous women, offering audiences an authentic, accessible opportunity to connect with Indigenous artists and celebrate cultural expression.

Major supporters of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto are Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, British Council and Ryerson University.

Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto

May 31 – June 3, 2018

Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West

Runway Tickets are on sale now at

IFWToronto on Facebook Twitter Instagram

Media Contact: FLIP PUBLICITY, 416.533.7710 x221, Damien Nelson,