Storying Resilience with the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program

Thursdays, 25 January, 8 February, 8, 22, 29 March, 12, 26 April 2018

A series of after-school, hands-on sessions for Indigenous youth

Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre and the Agnes are offering a series of after-school, hands-on sessions for Indigenous youth to tell their stories, and explore many facets of artmaking. Four Directions’ Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program creates a culturally affirming gathering place for Indigenous youth, grades 8–12, in the Kingston area. For details, contact Elias George at Four Directions: edg1@queensu.ca.


25 January 2018, 3–5:30 pm
Poetry Writing Workshop with Geraldine King
Agnes Etherington Art Centre

 This workshop will begin with a tour through Kent Monkman’s exhibition, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, followed by process and impulse-based writing exercises that celebrate and facilitate collaborative writing, demonstrate how languages impact the way poems are consumed, and emphasize the spontaneity of poetry.  This session invites Indigenous youth (grades 8-12) and Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students in the Katarokwi/Kingston area to join.

Geraldine King is Anishinaabe and a member of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek located in the Robinson Superior Treaty area. Geraldine is foremost a parent whose primary goal is to create kind and gentle worlds for her two sons. As a student, Geraldine is a PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies program at Queens University where she has been awarded a Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship to undertake work in the transformative power of Anishinaabe love works. Geraldine is a creative writer whose words emerge from here and the elsewhere.

8 February 2018,  3–5:30 pm
In the Studio with Onangattay
Agnes Etherington Art Centre

In this workshop, Katarokwi/Kingston-based artist, Onangattay, will be sharing his art making traditions and Indigenous-centred teachings with a workshop focused on using organic materials to create pigments, etching, painting and visual storytelling.

Onangattay is a French-Ojibwe self-taught painter and a storyteller. Early in his career he spent time painting and sketching with renowned artist Norval Morrisseau, who encouraged him to find his own style. Today, using his talents to share the Ojibwe language, legends, songs and traditional ways has become his passion.

8 March 2018, 3–5:30 pm

Little and Big Gestures: an artmaking workshop with Camille Usher
Agnes Etherington Art Centre

In this workshop, Camille Usher will be sharing collaborative artmaking techniques to produce a public art installation as a methodology to decolonize space, inspire relevant conversations, and spur creative production of all kinds. Join Camille for this intro workshop to lino block carving and printing: she will take participants through the process of designing and carving their own linoleum block to create a small edition of images on fabric as part of a larger public art installation. All Indigenous youth and Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students in the Katarokwi/Kingston area are invited to join this workshop, as part of the Storying Resilience with the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program.

Camille Usher is a Coast Salish/Sahtu Dene/Scottish scholar, artist, and writer from Galiano Island, BC of the Pune’laxutth’ (Penelakut) Nation. She completed her MA in Art History at Concordia University where she worked to prove the impact of the performing arts in building confidence and leadership amongst Indigenous youth by learning to talk/embody discussions about safer sexual practices. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies department at Queen’s University, where she will be telling a story of Indigenous arts collectives, gangs and other groups activating public spaces through gestures both little and big. Additionally, she worked extensively with Dr. Heather Igloliorte developing the first nationally touring exhibition of Labrador Inuit art. She was also a co-founder of the Uppity NDNs, an Indigenous women’s biking collective in Montreal and continues her artistic endeavors with colleague Asinnajaq.

22 March  2018, 3–6 pm
Beat of Your Own Drum: Drum-making with Helena Neveu
Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre

“With the act of singing prayers, sharing stories and legends, singing medicine songs, we connect with each other, the drum and to our Mother Earth.” —Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre

In this hand drum-making workshop, Helena Neveu will lead participants through the creation of their own hand drums using hides prepared by Onangattay. Participants will learn about the drum as a healing tool and will have the opportunity to awaken their own drums on Thursday 29 March at the Awakening Ceremony as part of the Storying Resilience with the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program.

Helena Neveu is a member of the Batchewana First Nation. She is a talented and prolific Ojibwe hand-drumming instructor, traditional teacher, artisan, and musician. Helena shares her stories and teachings across the Katarokwi/Kingston area and beyond–she has led traditional artmaking practices at St. Lawrence College, hand-drumming teachings with the Katarokwi Drummers, and hand-drumming circles at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, which grew into the Four Directions Women Singers group.

29 March 2018, 3–6 pm

Awakening Ceremony
Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre

Participants from the Beat of Your Own Drum workshop with Helena Neveu are encouraged to attend this Awakening Ceremony for their new drums. All drummers from Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre’s weekly Hand Drum Singing circle are invited to join in the ceremony and celebration.

Virtual Storytelling: Two-Part Workshop Series
Presented by the School of Computing, Queen’s University
*attendance at both workshops is heavily encouraged
Location: Meet at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre at 3pm, walk together to Walter Light Hall Room 310

Thursday 12 April, 3pm–6 pm

In part one of Virtual Storytelling, Nicholas Graham and Paul Allison from the School of Computing at Queen’s University will introduce youth to Scratch (www.scratch.mit.edu), outlining the basics of coding, learning algorithms, and how to program interactive stories and games for online circulation.

Thursday 26 April, 3pm–6pm

In part two of Virtual Storytelling, a guest artist will be working alongside Nicholas Graham and Paul Allison to guide youth in developing their interactive stories and games and bring them to life!


Listening to Our Communities: Storytelling through the Arts  has been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area consisting of the Jim & Julie Parker Fund, The Regina Rosen Fund, The Edward Ratcliffe Fund and the Larry Gibson Community Fund. 

Image Credits

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