Summer Indigenous Art Intensive

This year’s UBC Okanagan Summer Indigenous Art Intensive will be held during July, 2017, and will feature a series of world-renowned speakers, a variety of related undergraduate and graduate credit courses, and a group of resident artists. See full information at including live streaming of all keynote talks.

Keynote speakers include UBCO’s Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Knowledge, Jeannette Armstrong, as well as artists and theorists France Trépanier and Chris Creighton Kelly (Vancouver Island), Monika Kin Gagnon (Montreal), Sean Wilson (Australia), and Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Graham Smith (New Zealand). All keynote talks will be livestreamed, and subsequently published in a monograph format.

All courses are open to all UBC students and will also be available to visiting students.

CRWR 382G/520: A Creative Writing Collaboratory

How can a writer collaborate with others? A practice-based course, the Collaboratory, provides opportunities for writers to explore how their work might be informed and transformed by direct engagement with artists from a variety of practices including visual arts, performance, and critical studies, while inviting those same artists to explore how writers can shape and reshape their own practices. Guided by Indigenous and Pragmatic ways of knowing and modelled on Open Access tenets of emergent, collectively-held space, the Collaboratory asks through the making of new works: How does a writer collaborate with language, with audience, with self? How does collaboration with material, image, and sound influence writing? In what ways do writers collaborate with history, ecology, and power? What makes collaboration possible? What makes it necessary?

Wednesday afternoon keynote presentations from the Summer Indigenous Intensive are a major component of this course.

INDG 295: The Extraction and Reclamation of Indigenous Cultural Heritage

The course will cover the history of the extraction and attempted elimination of Indigenous cultural heritage, including artistic expression, through the Residential School Era (1938-1990) and the Culture Ban (1884-1948) through the Indian Act. The imposition of Eurocentric Intellectual Property Rights law on Traditional Knowledge will also be covered, as well as the application of colonizing false narratives and stereotypes. The Reclamation of Indigenous cultural heritage, beginning in the 1960s through to the present, will be traced and analyzed. Overall, the course will have an historical through to contemporary Indigenous Arts Focus.

Wednesday afternoon keynote presentations from the Summer Indigenous Intensive are a major component of this course.

THTR 302: Indigenous Performance Practices

The course will provide students the opportunity to explore Indigenous traditional and contemporary based performance practices.  This will be delivered as a studio course but will also involve class participants interacting with guest Indigenous artists, Elders, and to attend events that reflect Indigenous practices. Indigenous performance practices are inspired by the ecology of the land; Indigenous songs, dances, regalia (dress) and stories vitalize, honour and distinguish the inter connectedness of these ancient practices. The central theme of practice for the course embraces the perception that Indigenous performance methods such as song, dance, and storytelling engage distinct and diverse cultural values associated with Indigenous peoples, their homelands and ancestral territories.

Wednesday afternoon keynote presentations from the Summer Indigenous Intensive are a major component of this course.

VISA 460/520: Fieldnotes 

This course provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their art practice by engaging deeply with creative research around specific sites in the Okanagan. Coursework begins outdoors with a series of assignments intended to strengthen students’ powers of observation. Back in the studio, a variety of short experiments will jump start the development of self-directed project ideas by identifying the core priorities in their art practice. Class discussions, critical feedback and journaling will further student’s in-depth investigation of their creative thought processes, and help to generate new avenues for investigation. Weekly contact with resident artists will provide examples of the diverse range of approaches to visual research and highlight the role of cultural identity and the importance of place within the artists’ practice. This course is appropriate for artists and creative thinkers at every stage of their development.

Wednesday afternoon keynote presentations from the Summer Indigenous Intensive are a major component of this course.


Creative Conciliations has supported the UBCO Summer Indigenous Intensive since 2014, providing funding for projects, artists, and research assistants. In 2016, O k’inādās // complicated reconciliations: an artist residency ran as part of the Summer Intensive; 2015, Pedagogy of Place, focussed on differing ways to encounter space/place in Indigenous contexts; and 2014 centred on Indigenous methodology and activist art.

Leave a Reply