Indigenous Futurisms: Fashion

June 3 | 2:30am – 4:30pm Harbourfront Centre Studio Theatre

To understand Indigenous futurisms is to understand the past and present sovereignty and reclamation of Indigenous cultures. The term “Indigenous Futurisms” was coined in 2003 by Grace Dillon, Professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program at Portland State University. Indigenous Futurisms criticizes and critiques how Indigenous nations are mythologized to separate Indigenous people from the contemporary world while challenging notions of what constitutes advanced technology. This panel will discussion Indigenous influence and definitions as vital to future technology and innovation in fashion.

Moderator: Riley Kucheranen, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. PhD Student, Communication & Culture, Ryerson & York universities, Indigenous Fashion Design, Rogers Fellow. 

Elwood Jimmy is a learner, listener, collaborator, facilitator, writer, artist and cultural manager based in Toronto. He is originally from the Thunderchild First Nation, a Nêhiyaw community in Saskatchewan. For many years, he has played a leadership role in several art projects, collectives, and organizations, nationally and abroad.

Jeneen Frei Njootli is an award-winning Vuntut Gwitchin artist who has shown her work and performed internationally. From rooftops to casinos, the bush, runways and galleries, Frei Njootli believes that fashion should be brought back home and gifted to community members. A co-creator of the ReMatriate Collective, she has lived, loved, made work and pursued a Master’s Degree as an uninvited guest on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, Sto:lo and Tsleil-Waututh territories for the last decade.

Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from an Indigenous perspective.  She is best known for her machinimas—movies made in virtual environments—but also produces still images and sculpture. Her projects have been presented across Turtle Island in major exhibitions. Born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, Skawennati is Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace, a research network based at Concordia University in Montreal. In 2015 they launched the Initiative for Indigenous Futures.