Native Women in the Arts
Caitlyn Bird, 23, an Anishnaabe Woman from Noatkamegwanning First Nation (Whitefish Bay) who grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario where she developed a love for the traditional arts focusing on beading. She utilizes traditional techniques and methods while allowing herself to explore through contemporary methods of color, and design. She obtained vast knowledge from her great Grandmother and women within her community. In ensuring the continuation of knowledge, she accepts any opportunity to share what she has been taught in hopes of inspiring others whilst, encouraging them to learn more about their culture and history.
She graduated, 2016, from Lakehead University with her Indigenous Learning degree and now attends the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM obtaining her BFA in Museum Studies. She continues to bead and design daily and believes her love for beading has guided her and “Kin-nan-nim-mig-go” (takes care of her) in numerous ways. She hopes her love of art continues to connect her with her culture and community.
Bird was selected from a number of applications from across Northern Ontario. Artistic Director, Ariel Smith remarked: “ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are thrilled to present this award to Caitlyn in recognition of her talent and commitment to her craft. We have no doubt she will continue to grow and evolve as a practicing artist and wish her all the best in her future endeavours. ” NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Caitlyn Bird with a $1500 award, which will be presented with Barbara Laronde on Sunday, July 22, 2018, at the Temagami Canoe Festival.
The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous female artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many northern artists face.
Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award in 2015.
The Temagami Canoe Festival, July 21 - 22, 2018 at the Temagami Waterfront Park is a celebration of Canadian Canoe Culture. This two-day indoor-outdoor, multistage, family-friendly celebration hosts activities that include: canoe displays, demos, and workshops, canoe race events, historical talks, birch bark canoes, guided old growth forest hikes, live music, food and craft vendors, and much more.
Over 25 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also produce a series of community-driven artist talks, leadership and cultural workshops, youth arts projects to audiences interested in arts, culture, and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.