EUC Seminar Series examines treaty relations in Toronto

Still image from By These Presents: "Purchasing" Toronto (Talking Treaties 2019)

This year, York University’s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) Seminar Series is focusing on Assistant Professor Martha Stiegman’s knowledge translation project Polishing the Chain, which leverages research by the Indigenous-led Talking Treaties community arts project of Jumblies Theatre and Arts to enrich public discussion of treaty relations Toronto.

Toronto is the traditional territory of the Wendat, Anishnaabeg and Haudenosaunee Confederacies. It is also one of the most culturally diverse cities on Earth. There is a web of historical treaties that were negotiated on these lands – agreements that hold continued relevance and possibility for the present.

Polishing the Chain: Treaty Relations in Toronto is a fall and winter conversation series that will bring together Indigenous and allied scholars, knowledge holders, artists, Earth workers and activists who will explore the historical significance and contemporary relevance of the treaties Indigenous nations in southern Ontario have made with each other, with the land and with the Crown. It will explore: the spirit and intent of Toronto treaties; the ways Indigenous Peoples have upheld and continue to uphold them; the extent to which they are (and are not) reflected in contemporary Indigenous and state relations; and the treaty responsibilities of both settler and Indigenous Torontonians.

Headshot of Alan Coribere
Alan Coribere

The series’ inaugural talk, “The Symbolic Language of Wampum Diplomacy,” will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 28, just prior to Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30. The event, co-presented with the Toronto Biennial of Art, will feature Anishinaabe historian and York University Assistant Professor Alan Corbiere, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History of North America; Tuscarora writer, historian and curator Rick Hill; and interdisciplinary Kanienkehaka artist Ange Loft.

The series will continue with “Taking Care of the Dish: Treaties, Indigenous Law and Environmental Justice” on Oct. 26; “Treaty Relations, Planning and Indigenous Consultation at the City of Toronto” on Nov. 23; “The Forgotten Promise of the Treaty of Niagara” on Jan. 31; “The Toronto ‘Purchase’ ” on Feb. 14; and “We are all Treaty People” on March 14.

All Fall 2021 seminars will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. via Zoom and live-streamed on the Polishing the Chain Facebook page. To register, visit bit.ly/39AO0PP.

This year’s EUC Seminar Series is co-presented by York’s new Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages, the Indigenous Environmental Justice Project, and the Jumblies Theatre and Arts Talking Treaties project. For more information about the seminar series, email polishingthechain@gmail.com.

Invitation to University event on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Artwork by Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt

La version française suit la version anglaise.

Dear colleagues and students, 

As many of you may be aware, Sept. 30 has been declared by the federal government to be the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to learn about and reflect upon the intergenerational trauma and harm resulting from the residential school system across Canada, a day to honour survivors, and a day to recognize the strength and resiliency of Indigenous Peoples and communities. 

As we are still dealing with the restrictions related to the pandemic, and as the University will remain open, we will be hosting a virtual event for our community members, where we will come together to pause, reflect and learn. This event will focus on reconciliation, which is critical to the University’s ongoing relationship with the Indigenous community, and a variety of panellists from across the York community have been invited to speak about what reconciliation in action means to them.  

Date: Thursday, Sept. 30

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Zoom Webinar:  yorku.zoom.us/j/96760686354?pwd=KzVJb3dud3ZyK243L0ZJeW5ReDllZz09

Link to Livestream: yorku.ca/go/nd4tr  

We hope that you will be able to join us on Sept. 30 for this important event. If you are unable to attend, we ask that you take time to explore resources or attend one of the other events taking place across the University. Details and resources are available on York’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation website.

Thank you. Merci. Miigwech. 

Sincerely,

Rhonda L. Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor 

Sheila Cote-Meek 
Vice-President, Equity, People & Culture
 


Invitation à un événement de l’Université à l’occasion de la Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation

Chers collègues, chères collègues, chers étudiants, chères étudiantes, 

Comme vous le savez peut-être déjà, le gouvernement fédéral a déclaré que le 30 septembre serait désormais la Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation. Cette journée est une occasion de s’informer et de se pencher sur les traumatismes et préjudices intergénérationnels qui résultent du système des pensionnats autochtones au Canada. C’est aussi une journée pour honorer les survivants et pour reconnaître la force et la résilience des peuples et des communautés autochtones. 

Étant donné que les restrictions liées à la pandémie demeurent en vigueur et que l’Université sera ouverte ce jour-là, nous organiserons un événement virtuel pour les membres de notre communauté et nous nous réunirons pour faire une pause, réfléchir et apprendre. Cet événement sera axé sur la réconciliation, un élément essentiel de la relation continue entre l’Université et la communauté autochtone. Plusieurs panélistes de la communauté de York parleront de leur vision de la réconciliation.  

Date : Jeudi 30 septembre 2021

Heure : 11 h à 13 h

Webinaire Zoom : https://yorku.zoom.us/j/96760686354?pwd=KzVJb3dud3ZyK243L0ZJeW5ReDllZz09

Lien pour la diffusion en direct : http://yorku.ca/go/nd4tr 

Nous espérons que vous pourrez vous joindre à nous le 30 septembre pour cet événement important. Si vous ne pouvez pas y assister, nous vous demandons de prendre le temps d’explorer les ressources proposées ou de participer à l’un des autres événements organisés par l’Université. Vous trouverez tous les détails et ressources sur le site Web de York consacré à la Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation. 

Merci. Thank you. Miigwech. 

Sincères salutations, 

Rhonda Lenton 
Présidente et vice-chancelière 

Sheila Cote-Meek 
Vice-présidente de l’équité, des personnes et de la culture
 

York announces launch of Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages

Artwork by Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt

York University has launched a new organized research unit (ORU) that is the first at the University to focus on Indigenous and decolonizing scholarship.

The Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages (CIKL) is led by inaugural Director Deborah McGregor, an associate professor at York and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at Osgoode Hall Law School. The new ORU will host Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and students engaged in these areas of scholarship, and aims to facilitate knowledge production and dissemination that re-centres Indigenous knowledges, languages, practices and ways of being. Moreover, CIKL will support research involving both traditional and contemporary knowledges, as care-taken, shared and created by Indigenous scholars at the University and from Indigenous knowledge holders in the community.

Deborah McGregor
Deborah McGregor

Cross-appointed between Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, McGregor is Anishinaabe from Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island, Ont. She has an extensive research background focusing on Indigenous knowledge systems and their applications in water and environmental governance, environmental and climate justice, and sustainable self-determined futures.

McGregor notes that “the Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages offers a generative space within and beyond York University to advance Indigenous scholarship, research theories, methodologies and practices that supports a keen understanding of the goals and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples. CIKL will foster collaborations and partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and others that create ethical space for dialogue on how research relationships can be envisioned, negotiated, practised in support of Indigenous futurities. Creating this ethical space in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and our colleagues across the University also creates opportunities for critical dialogue, reflection and change to take place in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Joining McGregor as a research leader is York University Professor Sean Hillier, who will become CIKL’s associate director. Hillier has recently been appointed a York Research Chair in Indigenous Health Policy & One Health. He is a queer Mi’kmaw scholar from the Qalipu First Nation, and an assistant professor at the School of Health Policy & Management. His collaborative research program spans themes of aging, living with HIV and other infectious diseases, and antimicrobial resistance, all with a focus on policy affecting health-care access for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

“Having dedicated Indigenous research resources and space, as offered by the new CIKL, which is run by and for Indigenous Peoples on campus, is a critical first step,” says Hillier. “This centre will assist York in becoming a research-intensive institution and serves the principals of the Indigenous Framework and University Academic Plan.”

Amir Asif, York’s vice-president of research and innovation, says, “The establishment of CIKL creates a vital space for Indigenous researchers and all those engaged in decolonizing scholarship at York and beyond. The centre will play an important role in invigorating and disseminating groundbreaking, Indigenous-centred research taking place at and beyond York University.”

Stay tuned for upcoming events and initiatives at CIKL.

Registration is now open for REI fall workshops

University learning

The work of inclusion is ongoing, proactive and profoundly necessary. York University faculty, staff and students are invited to do their part to enhance belonging and equity within the community by participating in the Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Workshop Series and Anti-Racism Workshop Series being offered virtually by York’s Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (REI) this fall.

Respect, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) 2021-22. Register at: https://rights.info.yorku.ca/redipd

Workshops being offered in September include: Lutte Contre la discrimination (Addressing Discrimination – French only) on Sept. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to noon; and Academic Integrity and Universal Design on Sept. 30 at the same time.

October’s offerings include: Requesting and Accessing Accommodations on Oct. 5 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; Acknowledging and Addressing Racism on Oct. 7 from 10:30 a.m. to noon; and Challenging Unconscious Bias and Microaggressions on Oct. 19 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

The remaining workshops for the year will run as follows:

  • Racial Inclusion and Employment Equity, Nov. 4, 10:30 a.m. to noon;
  • Intervening on Racism, Nov. 9, 1:30 to 3 p.m.;
  • Creating and Maintaining Positive Space, Nov. 18, 10:30 a.m. to noon; and
  • Addressing and Responding to Sexual Harassment, Dec. 2, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The REDI Workshop Series covers the basics in human rights, equity and inclusion, and builds a general understanding of these topics in the context of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Through interactive learning, participants are introduced to core concepts to build a more equitable and inclusive culture at York and beyond. After attending at least three of these workshops and an online module, participants will receive a REDI Certificate of Completion.

The workshops will be delivered on Zoom, with materials presented on screen as well as orally. Attendees will be offered several opportunities to participate via annotation, chat, large group discussion and breakout rooms. Automated transcription is provided over Zoom. Participants can indicate any other accessibility requests in their registration form or by contacting REI.

Members of the York community who are looking for a custom, department-specific workshop should consider the REDI and Anti-Racism sessions first, as they offer a helpful foundation for any team interested in engaging in more in-depth work.

For more information and to register for any of the workshops listed above, visit rights.info.yorku.ca/redipd.

Canadian Writers in Person returns with a reading from Michelle Good’s first novel

CWIP FEATURED

If you love meeting talented writers and hearing them read from their published work, or just want to soak up a unique cultural experience, don’t miss the Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series, which launches its 2021-22 season on Sept. 21.

Five Little Indians book cover shows a birchbark forest with the words Five Little Indians and the author's name Michelle Good

The series gives attendees an opportunity to get up close and personal with 11 authors who will present their work and answer questions. Canadian Writers in Person is a for-credit course for students. It is also a free-admission event for members of the public. All readings take place at 7 p.m. on select Tuesday evenings via Zoom. Links for each reading can be found here.

This year’s lineup consists of a unique selection of emerging and established Canadian writers whose writing explores a broad range of topics and geographical and cultural landscapes. Featuring seasoned and emerging poets and fiction writers, the series highlights Canada’s ever-growing pool of literary talent.

On Sept. 21, author Michelle Good kicks off the 2021-22 series with a reading from her first novel, Five Little Indians (HarperCollins Canada), which won the HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize.

Good is a Cree writer and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After working for Indigenous organizations for 25 years, she obtained a law degree and advocated for residential school survivors for over 14 years. She earned a master of fine arts in creative writing at the University of British Columbia while still practising law and managing her own law firm. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada, and her poetry was included on two lists of the best Canadian poetry in 2016 and 2017.

Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward. Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of downtown eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and criss-cross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.

Other readings scheduled in this series are:

2022

Canadian Writers in Person is a course offered in the Culture & Expression program in the Department of Humanities in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. For more information on the series, visit yorku.ca/laps/canwrite, or email Professor Gail Vanstone at gailv@yorku.ca or Professor Leslie Sanders at leslie@yorku.ca.

New partnership to advance fight against global financial crime and support equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM

YFile Featured image Lassonde School of Engineering

The funding from Scotiabank provides $980,000 to support critical research into global financial crimes and security. It will be named the Scotiabank Lassonde Financial Crimes Research Initiative.

At a time when financial markets, technologies and products have become more complex and financial crimes are increasing, Canadian universities can play a critical role in addressing the global shortage of trained experts equipped to tackle these crimes – many of which can impact the most vulnerable such as children, newcomers and elderly.

On Sept. 13, York University announced a contribution from Scotiabank that will provide $980,000 to support a variety of initiatives at the Lassonde School of Engineering.

The funding will support research into global financial crimes and computer security, while also providing support for programs that advance equity, diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

“York University is profoundly grateful to Scotiabank for their generous investment of $980,000 in support of the Lassonde School of Engineering. This contribution reflects the shared commitment of York and Scotiabank to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and math fields and to advancing the groundbreaking work of our researchers in the field of financial crime prevention,” said Rhonda L. Lenton, president and vice-chancellor of York University. “In recognition of this substantial investment, the fund that supports critical research in global financial crimes will be named the Scotiabank Lassonde Financial Crimes Research Initiative.”

Top row: From left, Lisa Cole, director of programming K21 Academy; Lassonde School of Engineering Dean Jane Goodyer; and Stuart Davis, executive vice president, Financial Crimes Risk Management, Scotiabank. Middle row: From left, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton, Lassonde School of Engineering third-year student Deinabo Richard-Koko; Uyen Nguyen, associate professor, Lassonde. Bottom row: From left, Charles Achampong, director, Community Partnerships, Scotiabank; E. Louise Spencer, acting vice-president advancement, York University; Josephine Morgenroth, PhD candidate, Lassonde School of Engineering and Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University.
Top row, from left: Lisa Cole, director of programming K21 Academy; Lassonde School of Engineering Dean Jane Goodyer; and Stuart Davis, executive vice-president, financial crimes risk management, Scotiabank. Middle row, from left: York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton; Lassonde School of Engineering third-year student Deinabo Richard-Koko; Uyen Nguyen, associate professor, Lassonde. Bottom row, from left: Charles Achampong, director, community partnerships, Scotiabank; E. Louise Spencer, acting vice-president advancement, York University; Josephine Morgenroth, PhD candidate, Lassonde School of Engineering and Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University

This innovative research initiative will support the essential work of talented graduate students and advance research areas related to global financial crimes, which include Ponzi schemes, money laundering efforts and cryptocurrency-based crimes, along with other serious areas of crime such as human trafficking, wildlife trafficking, sexual exploitation and drug trafficking. 

“There is a significant shortage of people with the specialized skills and knowledge to do this work,” says Uyen T. Nguyen, associate professor at the Lassonde School of Engineering. “This research program will also prepare students and emerging scholars for jobs. We are also helping to further promote Toronto as a global financial hub, and providing professionals and expert specialists to the industry locally.”

This work has already shown promise in the real world, says Nguyen.

“This initiative with the Lassonde School of Engineering builds on a long history of collaboration between Scotiabank and York University, spanning five decades,” says Stuart Davis, executive vice-president of financial crimes risk management at Scotiabank. “We are thrilled to be working with Lassonde’s students and faculty on leading-edge research to inform techniques used to combat financial crimes risk, while promoting a shared purpose to advance social sustainability goals.”

As part of Scotiabank’s generous investment in activities that advance equity, diversity and inclusion, the Lassonde School of Engineering’s Helen Carswell STEAM Program for Women will also receive support to encourage participation from Grade 10 and 11 students from marginalized neighbourhoods in a unique eight-week program of paid research in the school’s lab, which conducts work related to the United Nations Sustainabile Development Goals. High-school students in the program will work on research projects related to engineering and science under the guidance of undergraduate research assistant mentors, high-school teachers and Lassonde faculty.

As well, Scotiabank will support Lassonde’s Kindergarten to Industry Academy – expanding the K2I Academy to three Greater Toronto Area school boards to further enhance Grade 9 to 12 science and mathematics programs. Lassonde’s K2I Academy is an innovative ecosystem of STEM educators, thought leaders and partners focused on bringing STEM experiences to youth, educators and communities. K2I Academy is working with partners from Kindergarten to industry to dismantle systemic barriers and build sustainable programs that diversify representation in STEM professions.

“These programs are not just about STEM education. It’s social justice work,” says Lisa Cole, director of programming at K2I Academy. “We want to make sure that every student has a chance to explore the subjects before they make a decision about their path of studies. We want them to see the possibilities for their futures and the social impact they can make.”

Deinabo Richard-Koko, a third-year Lassonde student and mentor with the K2I Academy, says the program is unique in that it shows students how to apply their learnings in real time. “Most people say: ‘What does this add to my life? I’m never going to use this again outside the classroom,’ ” says Richard-Koko. “But with the K2I Academy, students can see the real-time application of what they learned. They can actually use it.”

The support from Scotiabank is already having a huge impact on Lassonde’s programs.

“This funding allowed us to make critical enhancements. We were able to purchase materials and resources, like small electronic devices for engineering learning, to help engage students in hands-on learning,” says Cole. “Without this gift, we wouldn’t have the creative space that we need to innovate and develop outreach materials for our students.”

The goal of these initiatives is to remove systemic barriers to access for underrepresented students in STEM and increase student achievement and enrolment in the prerequisite courses needed to enter post-secondary studies in engineering.

“At Lassonde, we know how important it is to support students of all backgrounds,” says Jane Goodyer, dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering. “That’s why I am pleased we are collaborating with Scotiabank through a shared sense of purpose, determined to equip every student with the skills and values needed to succeed in STEM fields as they work toward a better future.”

Two Indigenous educators join the Faculty of Education

Keele Campus stong pond FEATURED image for Yfile

This story is published in YFile’s New Faces Feature Issue 2021, part two. Every September, YFile introduces and welcomes those joining the York University community, and those with new appointments. Part one was published on Sept. 3.

Two Indigenous educators join York University’s Faculty of Education this fall as full-time faculty members. They are Kiera (Kaia’tanó:ron) Brant-Birioukov and Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing.

“We are delighted to welcome two new colleagues: Kiera (Kaia’tanó:ron) Brant-Birioukov and Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing. Each are respected scholars and teachers in their particular fields of study,” said Faculty of Education Dean Robert Savage. “They bring a diverse range of expertise to the Faculty of Education in Indigenous understandings and development. We very much look forward to the new ideas, perspectives, and contributions that they will make to our faculty and towards our ongoing mission of reinventing education for a diverse, complex world.”

Kiera (Kaia’tanó:ron) Brant-Birioukov
Kiera (Kaia’tanó:ron) Brant-Birioukov

Kiera (Kaia’tanó:ron) Brant-Birioukov is a Haudenosaunee (Kanyen’keha:ka) educator and educational theorist from Kenhtè:ke, also known as the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario. She joins the Faculty of Education and the Wüléelham community at York as an assistant professor and will support the Indigenous cohorts, courses and programs in the Faculty of Education.

She is a certified teacher in Ontario and British Columbia and is committed to ethical Indigenous education across all K-12 and post-secondary classrooms. Some of her current projects include the repatriation of historical Haudenosaunee stories, artifacts and journal diaries to communities across the Six Nations Confederacy, as well as collaborating in the knowledge mobilization of Indigenous-Settler food sovereignty through the Earth to Tables Legacies project.

Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing
Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing

Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing joins the Faculty of Education as an assistant professor. She is Métis, adopted into the Anishinaabe bald eagle clan in the Three Fires Midewiwin lodge. Her family has roots in the Sault Ste. Marie Métis community and Manitoba, and they are registered with the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Beaulne-Stuebing is also of French and Austrian settler ancestry. Her PhD thesis, “Grief Medicines,” focused on learning about what helps community members through ongoing experiences of loss. Beaulne-Stuebing facilitates mashkiki gitigaanan, an urban Indigenous medicines sovereignty project in Toronto.

Learn how Anishinaabe knowledge can inform mainstream history at next Scholars’ Hub event

history-books-FEATURED

For the Sept. 15 edition of the Scholars’ Hub @ Home speaker series, York University Assistant Professor Alan Corbiere (MES ’00, PhD ’20), Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History of North America, will host a discussion titled “Waking up the medicine: Instilling Anishinaabe knowledge into history.”

Alan Corbiere

Attendees will learn how the Anishinaabe ways of knowing, perspective and language can inform mainstream history during this time of truth and reconciliation.

Brought to you by York University’s Office of Alumni Engagement, the Scholars’ Hub @ Home speaker series features discussions on a broad range of topics, with engaging lectures from some of York’s best and brightest minds. Students, alumni and all members of the community are invited to attend. All sessions take place at noon via Zoom.

Events are held in partnership with Vaughan Public Libraries, Markham Public Library and Aurora Public Library.

To register for the event, visit bit.ly/2WSl02H.

The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design brings six new faculty into its ranks

AMPD Featured image dance lighting and set design

This story is published in YFile’s New Faces Feature Issue 2021, part one. Every September, YFile introduces and welcomes those joining the York University community, and those with new appointments. Watch for part two on Sept. 10.

This fall, six new faculty join the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD). They are Rebecca Caines, Moussa Djigo, Danielle Howard, Marissa Largo, Taien Ng-Chan and Archer Pechawis.

“On behalf of everyone in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, I am delighted to welcome our newest AMPD colleagues to York University. The exceptional artists, scholars, creators and researchers who join us this year embody both the shared values of our school and our ambitions to both challenge and empower our students and each other,” said AMPD Dean Sarah Bay-Cheng. “These newest colleagues join a growing body of leading faculty members who are committed to excellence in research, creation, teaching and service, both to the University and the global communities it serves.

“What excites me most about this exceptional cohort are the connections that they bring to AMPD and York. These newest colleagues work across cultural contexts, artistic techniques and emerging technologies, diverse histories and contemporary practices. There is an invigorating restlessness and curiosity in each that speaks to both the legacy of AMPD as one Canada’s leading centres and to new directions,” added Bay-Cheng.

Rebecca Caines

Rebecca Caines
Rebecca Caines

Rebecca Caines is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar whose research crosses between creative technologies (including sound art, new media and augmentation) and socially engaged art, with a special focus on improvisatory practices. She joins the Department of Theatre as an assistant professor.

Caines, who holds a PhD in performance studies from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, completed two postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Guelph before moving to the University of Regina to help build a new cross-faculty program in creative technologies. She was also the director of the Regina Improvisation Studies Centre, a partnered research site and faculty-based research centre at the University of Regina.

Caines serves on the executive team of the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, a long-running, $2.5-million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council partnership. She has completed large-scale, community-based art and research projects in Australia, Northern Ireland, Canada, China and the Netherlands. Her work investigates the role of art and technology in social justice, contemporary understandings of community and the fragile promise of ethical connection offered through dialogic approaches.

Moussa Djigo

Moussa Djigo
Moussa Djigo

Moussa Djigo joins AMPD as an assistant professor in the Cinema and Media Studies program. An award-winning director, screenwriter and producer with a background in journalism and cinema studies, his research interests include Canadian Indigenous cinema, African American cinema, city symphony films, research creation and space in cinema.

Djigo is the author of Spike Lee: Aesthetics of Subversion in Do the Right Thing (Paris, Acoria, 2009), a book that examines how images can use very specific formal tools to convey a political message. He is currently working on another book, Cinema and otherness: a perspectivist anthropology of Wapikoni Mobile, that explores the notion of “otherness” in films made by young Indigenous filmmakers. Djigo has written, directed and produced Obamas and Rosalie, two fiction features that have earned more than 20 awards and have been screened in more than 60 venues around the world. He previously taught in France (at Jean-Moulin University Lyon 3 and Sorbonne Nouvelle University Paris 3) and Quebec (at André-Laurendeau, Outaouais, Bois-de-Boulogne and Rosemont).

Danielle Howard

Danielle Howard
Danielle Howard

Danielle Howard joins AMPD as an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre. She recently taught within the University of California-Los Angeles’ School of Theater, Film and Television.

Howard writes at the intersections of race, gender, performance, visual and sonic culture. She is currently working on a manuscript titled Making Moves: Race, Basketball, and Embodied Resistance that spans the 20th and 21st centuries.The project foregrounds Black basketball players’ virtuosic and improvisational movements as oriented towards a kinetic knowledge of freedom and akin to contemporaneous jazz aesthetics. An article excerpted from this work, “Dribbling Against the Law: The Performance of Basketball, Race, and Resistance,” will appear in a forthcoming collection of essays titled Sports Plays. Her article “The (Afro) Future of Henry Box Brown: His-story of Escape(s) through Time and Space” won The Drama Review‘s 2020 Graduate Student Essay Contest Award and will appear in the publication’s September 2021 issue.

Originally from the United States and trained in music, dance and theatre, Howard is invested in improving the health and resilience of her communities through their participation in the collective making of artistic expressions with different forms of art.

Marissa Largo

Marissa Largo
Marissa Largo

Marissa Largo joins AMPD as an assistant professor of creative technologies in the Department of Visual Art and Art History. Her work focuses on the intersections of community engagement, race, gender and Asian diasporic cultural production.

From 2006 to 2020, Largo honed her love and skill for teaching as a full-time secondary school art teacher. She has also taught at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University, where she was awarded the OCAD University Teaching Award for Continuing Studies and Non-Tenured Faculty in 2020. From 2020 to 2021, she was an assistant professor in art education in the Division of Art History and Contemporary Culture at NSCAD University.

Her forthcoming book, Unsettling Imaginaries: Filipinx Contemporary Artists in Canada (University of Washington Press), examines the work and oral histories of artists who imagine Filipinx subjectivity beyond colonial logics. She is co-editor of Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries (Northwestern University Press, 2017) and a guest co-editor of the “Beyond Canada 150: Asian Canadian Visual Cultures” special issue of the Journal of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (Brill Press, 2018). She is the recipient of an Ontario Arts Council grant for Indigenous and culturally diverse curatorial projects and a Canada Council for the Arts grant for the Arts Across Canada program for her forthcoming curatorial project “Elusive Desires: Ness Lee & Florence Yee, opening at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Ont., this month.

Taien Ng-Chan

Taien Ng-Chan
Taien Ng-Chan

Taien Ng-Chan is a writer and media artist joining AMPD as an assistant professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Arts. Her research explores experimental processes of urban mapping and sound art, “object-oriented storytelling” and futurist imaginings of everyday life in the Asian diaspora through immersive cinema, both in virtual-reality headset and dome projection modes. Her writing ranges from scholarly work in publications such as Intermediality and Humanities to books and anthologies of creative writing, collaborative multimedia arts websites, and drama for stage, screen and CBC Radio.

Ng-Chan has shown her digital media works in film festivals, art galleries and conference events across Canada and internationally, including at the Biennale internationale d’art numérique in Montreal, Toronto’s ReelAsian Film Festival, the International Mobile Innovation Screenings in New Zealand, Waterloo’s Lumen Festival, the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. She is Chair of the Commission for Art and Cartography at the International Cartographic Association, one half of the Hamilton Perambulatory Unit (with artist Donna Akrey) and one half of Centre for Margins (with artist Carmela Laganse). In 2019, she won the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Media Arts, as well as the AMPD Junior Faculty Teaching Award.

Archer Pechawis

Archer Pechawis
Archer Pechawis

A performance, theatre and new media artist, filmmaker, writer, curator and educator, Archer Pechawis joins AMPD as an assistant professor in the departments of Theatre and Visual Art and Art History. Pechawis was born in Alert Bay, B.C.

He has a particular interest in the intersection of Plains Cree culture and digital technology, merging traditional objects such as hand drums with digital video and audio sampling. His work has been exhibited across Canada, internationally in Paris and Moscow, and featured in publications such as Fuse Magazine and the Canadian Theatre Review.

Pechawis is the recipient of many Canada Council, British Columbia and Ontario Arts Council awards, and won the Best New Media Award at the 2007 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and Best Experimental Short at imagineNATIVE in 2009. Of Cree and European ancestry, he is a member of Mistawasis Nehiyawak, Saskatchewan.

York University’s 2021 Orientation kicks off this weekend. Here’s a look at what’s planned

With fall term classes beginning on Sept. 8, the official start of the new academic year at York University is almost underway – and that means there’s plenty for new and returning students to do, think about and remember.

Luckily, the Orientation 2021 website helps with all of that, providing a schedule of events and corresponding registration information, a college finder tool, a resource guide listing academic and financial supports and student services, information about the York Orientation Welcome Kit and much more.

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this year’s Orientation events will be held virtually.

Orientation 2021

This year’s Orientation Week runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 5 and includes a variety of events, workshops and icebreakers during which students will have a chance to meet other first-year students as well as upper-year students in their respective colleges and Faculties.

For more information about the various Orientation programs and how to register, students can visit the college and Faculty website links below. (Students can use the college finder tool to determine which Orientation to sign up for based on their academic program’s college affiliation.)

York University offers a wide variety of Orientation programming for new and incoming students

Orientation Day

One of the most highly anticipated events of the week is always York Orientation Day, a full day of activities on Sept. 3, where incoming students will be introduced to their professors, fellow students and University resources, and get a glimpse into what their first year at York will be like.

Academic Orientation will be hosted by the colleges and Faculties, with most sessions being held in the morning, followed by the 2021 York Orientation Day Welcome Ceremony, which will welcome the incoming undergraduate class with a special video premiering on the Orientation website homepage at 11:30 a.m. For more information about Academic Orientation, click here.

Black Excellence YU Welcome Event

Black Excellence YU (BEYU) provides Black students with the supports they need to transition to university and maximize their student experience on the path to graduation. The BEYU Welcome Event, taking place on Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will foster a sense of community among incoming students so they feel welcomed, seen and supported at York, while equipping new Black students with the knowledge of where to go for a range of academic and personal support. For more information, visit this link.

Indigenous Student Orientation

The Centre for Indigenous Student Services (CISS) welcomes incoming Indigenous Students to York. Meet the staff at CISS, learn about our services and meet other Indigenous students at York on Aug. 24 from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom.

International Student Orientation

The International Student Virtual Orientation, taking place Aug. 23, 25 and 27, is a great way to start the first semester, prepare for university life and connect with other international students. York International and so many other supports, services and resources at York are all still available, no matter where in the world students are.

Alternatively, for those who are on campus, join for a fun afternoon of activities and food in person at the International Student Picnic taking place on Sept. 2, 6 and 10. This is a great way for first- and second-year students to learn more about the Keele Campus, connect with students from the same Faculty and make new friends. There will be a campus tour towards the end of the picnic.

For more information and to register, visit this link.

Mature and Transfer Student Orientation

In addition to the Mature Student Orientation taking place Aug. 26, all newly admitted mature and transfer students are encouraged to take part in the Mature Student First-Year Experience. The program consists of a series of online stand-alone workshops aimed at supporting mature and transfer students’ transition to York. Students may participate in as few or as many sessions as they would like via Moodle, an interactive learning platform used throughout York to deliver course content online. It is available 24-7 and lets students set their own pace for learning.

Residence Orientation

Residence Orientation will be multifaceted this year. Housing Services will host a video series outlining what it is like to live in residence, followed by individual building Orientation events that will take place during Orientation Week and the first week of school. Students should ask their Don about it when they move in.

YorkFest 2021

Each year the York Federation of Students aims to make YorkFest the largest back-to-school Orientation festival held on a Canadian University campus. Get ready for a week packed with good vibes and fun, Sept. 20 to 24. For more information, visit the YorkFest web page.