Stewardship Circuit 4, Take Care
January 8–17, 2018

Featuring project descriptions, a curatorial essay by the members of #callresponse, artist biographies, and full colour illustrations throughout.

This micropublication was produced on the occasion of Stewardship, Circuit 4/5 of Take Care, January 8–17, 2018.


Click here to download.


Take Care’s fourth circuit, Stewardship, decentres the isolated individual as the privileged recipient or the primary site of care. Against the calamitous futures wrought by extractivism and the state forces that enable it, this circuit explores stewardship as a potential counter-modality of caretaking. Relationality, shared responsibility, custodianship, interdependency, community governance, and intergenerationality: the contested lexicon of stewardship is difficult to avoid in efforts to respond to the crises of care cascading across multiple domains of life—ecological, social, cultural, political. Stewardship scales up care, and names the relational work of tending to a world, a resource, an artefact, a memory, a community, a knowledge system, an institution, a future. Stewardship forefronts ideas and practices of care that centre upon relationships to land, territory, and water, and that undo hierarchies between human and nonhuman. While irreducible to stewardship alone, this circuit’s exhibition—#callresponse—repositions the crisis of care within and against the intersecting forces of the nation state, colonialism, land dispossession, and patriarchy. As co-organizer Tarah Hogue writes in relation to #callresponse, “the resistance of Indigenous peoples exposes the precarity of settler sovereignty and opens possibilities for alternate conceptions of care and responsibility towards one another.” [1]

Letters & Handshakes

[1] Tarah Hogue, engaging the work of Audra Simpson, in “#callresponse: presence across platforms,” MICE 02, ed. Radiodress (2016):


Christi Belcourt is Michif originally from Manitou Sakahigan (Lac Ste. Anne, AB). With deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people, her work explores the beauty of the natural world and is grounded within her relationships with land, water, animals, and Anishinaabek Peoples of the North Shore of Lake Superior. She initiated Walking With Our Sisters, a project that honours the lives of missing and murdered native women. Together with Isaac Murdoch and Erin Konsmo, Belcourt founded the Onaman Collective.

Cherish Violet Blood is a professionally trained, seasoned performer with active followings in the national Native and Toronto theatre community. She is an actor, storyteller, comedian, activist, and Blackfoot woman from the Blood Reserve, AB, with extensive traditional hand drumming and contemporary singing skills. A graduate of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto,  Blood has performed all over North America and is a member of New York’s Spider Woman Theater company.

Isaac Murdoch Bombgiizhik is fish clan and Anishinaabe from Serpent River First Nation,
Ontario. Isaac is a well-respected storyteller, visual artist, and traditional knowledge holder,
widely recognized for his research and expertise in traditional pictographs, symbolism, harvesting, cultural camps, oral history and storytelling, birchbark canoe making, and knowledge of birchbark scrolls. He has committed his life to the preservation of Anishinaabe cultural practices and has spent years learning from Elders of the North Shore, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

Jill Carter (Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi) is a Toronto-based theatre practitioner and Assistant Professor with the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies; the Aboriginal Studies Program; and the Transitional Year Programme at the University of Toronto. Her research and praxis base themselves in the mechanics of story creation (devising and dramaturgy), the processes of delivery (performance on the stage and on the page), and the mechanics of affect.

IV Castellanos is a sculptor and performance artist based in Brooklyn, NY. They are the
founder of the IV Soldiers Gallery in 2014 and co-founder of Feminist Art Group. IV has created
work with No Wave Performance Task Force and Social Health Performance Club, and is in
ongoing performance collaboration with Amanda Hunt.

Aylan Couchie is an Anishinaabe artist and writer hailing from Nipissing First Nation. She received her BFA from NSCAD University and is currently an MFA Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design program at OCAD University where her research focuses on decolonizing Indigenous monuments and public art. Her work explores First Nations realities/histories from a Two-Spirit, feminist perspective, and has been shown nationally and internationally. She maintains a presence on arts advisories, juries, and boards, and she’s received awards from the International Sculpture Center, Native Women in the Arts, and Colleges Ontario.

Dr.  Marcia Crosby’s lived experiences with her Tsimshian and Haida (British Columbia)
maternal and paternal grandparents, parents, and communities inform her work as a
writer of Indigenous histories. Crosby has examined the diverse ways that First Nations groups have incorporated external politico-economic forces into their existing patterns of
cultural life. She is the author of the influential 1991 essay, “Construction of the Imaginary Indian.”

Beatrice Deer is a singer, seamstress, and advocate for good health. Originally from Quaqtaq, a tiny village in Nunavik on the northeast coast of Quebec, Deer is now based in Montreal with her two children. Her music features both lyrical and throat singing in Inuktitut and English. Deer has released four albums, and received the award for Best Inuit Cultural Album in 2005 at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

Maggie Groat works in a variety of media including works on paper, sculpture, textiles, site-specific interventions and publications. Her current research examines shifting territories, alternative and decolonial ways-of-being, methodologies of collage, and the transformation of salvaged materials. She has taught at the University of Guelph, the University of Toronto, and at Emily Carr University of Art and Design as the 2014 Audain Artist Scholar in Residence. In 2015 she was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award.   

Tarah Hogue is a curator and writer of Métis and Dutch Canadian ancestry. She is the inaugural Senior Curatorial Fellow, Indigenous Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery and was the 2016 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellow at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Hogue was curator in residence with grunt gallery between 2014–2017, and has curated exhibitions at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Or Gallery, and SFU Gallery.

Maria Hupfield is martin clan, Anishinaabe and a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, based in Brooklyn NY. Her solo traveling exhibition The One Who Keeps on Giving premiered at The Power Plant in 2017 and was featured in Art in America. She has received national recognition in the USA from the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation for her hand-sewn industrial felt sculptures and in 2016 exhibited at SITE Santa Fe Biennale. She co-owns Native Art Department International with artist Jason Lujan.

Ursula Johnson is the winner of the 2017 Sobey Art Award. She is an interdisciplinary artist and an enrolled member of the Eskasoni First Nation Mi’kmaq Community on Cape Breton Island, currently based in Dartmouth, NS. She is active in Mi’kmaw language revitalization and descendent from a long line of esteemed basketmakers. Her nationally touring solo show Mi'kwite'tmn (Do You Remember) considers the consumption of traditional knowledge within colonial institutions. Johnson was awarded The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s 2017 Reveal Indigenous Art Award.

Nicole Laliberte is Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). Her research is located at the intersection of geography, feminist theory, and critical development studies. She studies systems of violence, including settler colonialism, as well as feminist and anti-oppression pedagogies in the undergraduate classroom. Professor Laliberte serves on the Board of Director’s of UTM’s Women and Gender Studies Program, and on UTM’s Indigenous Initiative Task Force.

Michelle LaVallee is a curator, artist, and educator of Ojibway ancestry and a member of the Nawash Band in Cape Croker, Ontario. She worked as a curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, SK from 2007-2017, and has recently been appointed as the new director at the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Art Centre in Gatineau, Quebec. LaVallee won the award for Excellence in Arts Related Service at the Mayor’s Arts and Business Awards in Regina in 2013 and has been a chosen participant for a number of International Canadian Curator Delegations in Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.

Letters & Handshakes is a collaboration of Greig de Peuter (Department of Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University) and Christine Shaw (Blackwood Gallery and Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga).

Cheryl L’Hirondelle is an award-winning and community-engaged interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and curator. She is Cree/Métis and German/Polish from Papaschase First Nation/amiskwaciy wâskahikan (Edmonton, AB) and works at the intersections of Cree nêhiyawin worldview and contemporary time-space.

Denise Booth McLeod is Anishnaabe (Ojibway) and her ancestral lands are Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation on the North Shore of Lake Huron. She has worked closely with urban Indigenous community in Toronto as the Cultural Coordinator at the Native Canadian Cultural Centre, Urban Indigenous Family Violence Prevention, and Culture Coordinator at the Native Women’s Resource Centre. She is currently the Indigenous and Community Engagement Coordinator at Toronto Birth Centre.

Lisa Myers is an independent curator and artist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. Myers has a Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial practice from OCAD University. She is currently an Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Myers is a member of Beausoleil First Nation and she is based in Port Severn and Toronto, Ontario.

Esther Neff is the Founder and Co-Director of Panoply Performance Laboratory, a collective
making operas-of-operations and a laboratory site for performance projects. She is a
collaborative and solo performance artist, independent theorist and member of Feminist Art
Group, Social Health Performance Club and Organizers Against Imperialist Culture. In February 2017 her work and research included a dedicated month long series of operations
entitled Embarrassed of the Whole.

Lindsay Nixon is a Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator, editor, and writer. They are the Indigenous Editor-at-Large for Canadian Art, and the editor of mâmawi­-âcimowak, an independent art, art criticism, and literature journal. Nixon currently resides in Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyaang, unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territories (Montreal), where they co-founded the Black Indigenous Harm Reduction Alliance and Critical Sass Press. Their forthcoming creative non-fiction collection, tentatively titled nîtisânak, is to be released in Spring 2018 through Metonymy Press.

Kris Noakes is an Anishinaabe citizen of Nipissing First Nation and the President of Peel Aboriginal Network. She is active in the community and serves in many advisory roles including in a First Nations advisory role on the City of Mississauga’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and as a part of the Toronto Area First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Educational Leads for the Indigenous Education Office of the Ministry of Education.

Rosary Spence is a recognized Indigenous singer, steeped in time-honoured rhythms and styles. Spence's debut album Maskawasiwin (a Cree word for “strength”) was released in 2015. She is a featured artist on a variety of albums and collaborations, most recently a 12-track compilation titled Women's Voices For Attawapiskat, dedicated to the people of Attawapiskat First Nation. Spence is originally from the coastal Cree community of Fort Albany First Nation, off the coast of James Bay.

Tanya Tagaq’s album Animism earned the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for the best full-length
Canadian album. She is a multi-Juno-award-winning vocalist informed by Inuit throat singing and combining avant-garde improvisation, metal, and electronica influences. She delivers fearsome, elemental performances that are visceral and physical. Her album Retribution was released in October 2016.

Eve Tuck is Associate Professor of Critical Race and Indigenous Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. She is a William T. Grant Scholar (2015-2020) and was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in 2011. Tuck's writing and research is on urban education and Indigenous studies, and is the author of two recent books, Urban Youth and School Pushout (Routledge, 2012) and Place in Research (co-written with Marcia McKenzie, Routledge, 2015).

Tania Willard is from the Secwe̓pemc Nation, Interior British Columbia. She works to connect shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional with bodies of knowledge and skills from Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures. Her co-curatorial projects include the nationally touring Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (Vancouver Art Gallery, with Kathleen Ritter), Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (Museum of Anthropology, with Karen Duffek), Nanitch: Historical BC photography, and Landmarks2017/Repères2017. Her relational art practice centres around BUSH gallery, a site of land-based experimental and conceptual Indigenous art futurity.

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is a performer of uaajeerneq, a contemporary Greenlandic
mask dance, and a recognized storyteller, poet, and actor. She is Inuk of Greenlandic origin, living in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Laakkuluk is a founding member and Programme Manager at Qaggiavuut, a non-profit society advocating for and supporting Nunavut performing artists.


Curatorial text: #callresponse

Image credit: Tania Willard, Only Available Light (detail) from the series Only Available Light, 2016. Archival film (Harlan I. Smith, The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia, 1928), projector, selenite crystals, and photons. 8:44 min. Original composition by Leela Gilday. Photo: Dennis Ha. Courtesy the artist and grunt gallery.

Design: Matthew Hoffman

Printing: Thistle Printing

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#callresponse is co-organized by Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard. We acknowledge the politics of violence in North America as it relates to Indigenous lands and bodies including on the many Indigenous territories where the projects take place, whether they are ancestral, traditional, unceded, unsurrendered, urban, rural and/or reserve.

#callresponse, Blackwood Gallery, and Letters & Handshakes extend deepest thanks to all the participating artists, respondents, and the networks that support the important work they undertake at all levels. Thank you also to those who have led and participated in the programming around the exhibition.

The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.



This exhibition is organized and circulated by grunt gallery, and presented by Blackwood Gallery.

#callresponse is produced in partnership with grunt gallery and generously supported by the {Re}conciliation initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Additional funding support from the British Columbia Arts Council.

The Blackwood Gallery is grateful for the generous support of #callresponse from the Jackman Humanities Institute Artist-in-Residence Program, the BC Arts Council, and grunt gallery, with additional support from the Department of Visual Studies and Women and Gender Studies (UTM).

Funding for staff support was made possible through the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations Graduate Internship program, Department of Canadian Heritage. The Canadian Museums Association administers the program on behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage.


Related Projects

Circuit 4: Stewardship
January 8–27, 2018
Take Care