Creating in Anishinaabemowin, Innu-aimun, and Inuktitut
“Indigenous languages,” writes Nathasha Kanapé Fontaine, “are massive glaciers, but we see only a little of their scope and value.” Three artists from theatre, music, and the visual arts share their thoughts on the languages they use in creating their works.
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine (Montreal) Guest
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine is an Innu writer, poet and interdisciplinary artist, originally from the community of Pessamit, on Nitassinan (Côte-Nord).
Émilie Monnet (Montreal) Guest
At the crossroads of theatre, performance, and sound, Émilie Monnet typically presents her work in the form of interdisciplinary stage plays and performative installations.
Monnet favours collaborative and multilingual creative processes that explore themes of memory, history and transformation. As a politically engaged artist, she founded Productions Onishka in 2011, with the aim of bringing together Indigenous artists from all artistic disciplines and all regions of the world.
Monnet is currently artist in residence at Espace GO, where she has just presented her new piece, Marguerite : le feu. She is of Algonquin and French origin, and divides her time between the Outaouais and Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang/Montréal.
Nancy Saunders (Niap) (Montreal) Guest
Currently based in Montreal, Niap (Nancy Saunders) is a multidisciplinary artist born in 1986 in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik.
Her studies at Concordia allowed her to explore different mediums including drawing, painting and sculpture. Taking an approach that fuses traditional Inuit art with modernism, she uses artistic strategies specific to contemporary art to address themes related to her ancestral heritage. Her goal is to ensure the continuity of Inuit art as well as its renewal.
In 2017, she created a permanent mural for the Canadian Museum of Natures’ Canada Goose Arctic Gallery, as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Her installation ᑲᑕᔾᔭᐅᓯᕙᓪᓛᑦ Katajjausivallaat, le rythme bercé, exhibited at OBORO Gallery in Montreal, was acquired by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in the summer of 2018.
Annie O’Bomsawin (Montreal) Moderator
Annie O’Bomsawin-Bégin, member of the Abenakis of Odanak nation, is a philosophy professor at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme.