Prof Helps Celebrate Urban Aboriginal Art, Voices, Stories

Prof. Carla Rice, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, is part of a novel project celebrating the urban aboriginal community.

“inVISIBILITY: Indigenous in the City” comprises visual art, performance video, digital stories and a speaker series.

Aboriginal artists, scholars, filmmakers, teachers, students and parents will creatively share their experiences and perspectives with stakeholders in education and the broader community.

The project is headed by York University professor Susan Dion, a national expert in urban aboriginal education, and is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

An opening reception took place June. 27 at the John B. Aird Gallery, 900 Bay St., Toronto. The art exhibition and speaker series will take place at the gallery, Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through July 19.

The exhibit includes a series of digital stories created by aboriginal students, parents and teachers from the Toronto District School Board with help from Rice, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender and Relationships.

She headed a four-day workshop for people to discuss their experiences of schooling.

The digital stories will be featured along with the work of five aboriginal artists exploring urban aboriginal identity and education as part of the exhibit. The stories will be screened with students, parents and teachers July 4 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The storytelling workshop was part of Rice’s Re-Visioning Differences Media Arts Laboratory (REDLAB), a mobile studio and expressive arts institute. The laboratory explores how arts-informed research can help communities marginalized by misconceptions to alter stereotypes, advance social inclusion and improve health equity.