The Indigenous Creative Spaces Project brings together a network of communities to support the development of Indigenous sovereign creative spaces across Ontario. Guided by an Indigenous Advisory Circle and supported by ArtsBuild Ontario, the project aims to build a framework of knowledge and experience from an Indigenous cultural and historic perspective, and determine the needs, recommendations and sustainability for future Indigenous infrastructural development within the arts ecology of Ontario. As part of this project, a series of online dialogues have taken place within Indigenous communities across Ontario.
Looking Towards the Next 50 Years is the next dialogue in this series. Hosted by Janis Monture, Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre, this dialogue will share on Woodland’s history which focuses on the Save the Evidence campaign and the re-interpretation of the former Mohawk Institute. Janis will be joined by guest speakers, Tim Johnson and Amos Key, Jr.
Janis Kahentóktha Monture is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River. Janis returned as the Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre in May 2020. Previously, Janis was appointed the Director of Tourism and Cultural Initiatives for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation from 2017 – 2020. From 2003 – early 2017 Janis was the Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, one of the largest First Nations- run cultural centres/museums in the country. In her capacity with Woodland, Janis was a steering committee member for the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures. A committee member for the Arts & Culture Advisory Council for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan American Games. For two brief 18-month periods Janis was on secondment to Harbourfront Centre as the Guest Artistic Director of Planet IndigenUS in 2009 and 2015. Janis attended the University of Western Ontario where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in History and received a Museum Studies diploma from Algonquin College. Janis continues to volunteer in her community at Six Nations and in Brantford with various organizations such as Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Brant Community Foundation and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. Recently in April 2022 Janis received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by the Governor General of Canada.
Tim Johnson is a senior advisor to Lord Cultural Resources, Niagara Parks Commission, and Plenty Canada. He is the artistic director of The Great Niagara Escarpment Indigenous Cultural Map and the Greenbelt Indigenous Botanical Survey. He is an executive producer of the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television, Sundance Film Festival, and Hot Docs award-winning documentary RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, and is an experienced education, museum, and arts executive who recently helped lead the development of four public memorials and art commissions of national significance that honour the contributions made by underrepresented peoples to Canada’s defense and founding.
As the former Associate Director for Museum Programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, Mr. Johnson managed the museum’s largest organizational group across its facilities in Washington and New York. A long list of critically acclaimed exhibits and programs (including LIVE EARTH D.C. with Al Gore) were produced during his tenure, creating an era that significantly advanced the institution’s museology and reputation.
Active in his home community of Six Nations of the Grand River and with several prestigious education, arts, and journalism institutions over more than 35 years, Tim received the Dreamcatcher Foundation Award for Art and Culture in 2016.
Dehaeho:węhs – Amos Key Jr. was born into the Onkwehon:weh the Divine Race of the Haudenosaunee Civilization, and is a member of Mohawk Nation, gifted into the Turtle Clan of his Mother and conferred to the Sacred Circle of Faith Keepers and knowledge keepers of the Longhouse, at Six Nations of Grand River Territory in Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada.
On his journey… Amos Key Jr. has become an educator and staunch advocate for: Indigenous Human, Civil and Linguistic Rights; Social Justice; the Decolonization of Indigenous Education and, the Emancipation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This is his life’s purpose providing a blue print of service to his people.
As a Change Agent: he prides himself in being a ‘change maker’ and ‘social advocate’ who promotes: social change, social advocacy, social justice and social enterprise through an Indigenous Lens.
As an Educator, he is change maker advocating for: the Benefits of Indigenous Bilingualism; Indigenous Language Literacy; Balancing Indigenous IQ with Indigenous EQ-I; unpacking the Truths of Indigenous and Crown Relations in Canada and advocating the reinstatement of the attributes, virtues , characteristics, intelligences and traits of Indigenous Civilizations in Ontario.
Currently Amos Key Jr. is: the Executive Director of SONICS / CKRZ 100.3 FM Wadręnota’ (radio) at Six Nations of Grand River Territory, that he founded 34 years ago. He is also currently an Education Program Developer with the First Nations Technical Institute, at the Tyendinega Mohawk First Nation Territory, at Belleville Ontario. He is leading the development for the foundations for Ontario’s first, Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed) in Teaching Indigenous Languages. Amos was just recently appointed Indigenous Advisor to the Danial’s School of Architecture, at the University of Toronto.
Prior to his current career stop, he was the inaugural, Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement and Associate Professor at Brock University at St. Catharines, Ontario for 15 months and prior to that a tenure track position as a Teaching Professor at the Center for Indigenous Studies, at the University of Toronto, at Toronto, Ontario, (2015-2019).
Prior to taking a role as professor and vice provost, Amos was the Director of Indigenous Languages at the Woodland Cultural Centre, in Brantford for 35 years. While there, he accomplished other firsts: he established Gawenni:yo Ontario’s first Indigenous School Board and Indigenous Language Immersion School system; Southern Ontario’s first, fully licensed community radio station, CKRZ 100.3 FM, and Ontario’s first international award winning, ‘Dream Catchers’ E learning Secondary School, way before Covid influenced the current state of e learning.
Note: This dialogue may explore culturally sensitive material. The information shared today may not be extracted for any reasons other than personal knowledge. The audience is encouraged to listen. Questions will be taken at the end.