About the AACC
In taking inspiration from the Haudenosaunee Seventh Generation Principle, Iehstoseranón:nha Dawn Setford, founded the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada in 2012 to preserve and revitalize endangered Indigenous art forms and enrich lives through Indigenous arts and culture.
In safe and inclusive spaces, through community based learning, the organization engages, [re]connects and empowers Indigenous women by promoting the transfer and conservation of cultural knowledge; securing the capacity for the next seven generations to retain and cultivate intrinsic cultural connections.
Through education and the arts, we are defiantly motivated to facilitate healing and reconciliation within our Indigenous communities and create informed opinions of our culture in Canadian society as a whole.
As recognized by the federal government by request of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, there is significant inter-generational trauma within our First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities because of the legacy of the residential school system, mass apprehension of children from their parents and communities (coined \'60\'s Scoop\') and many other means of cultural assimilation.
This trauma affects affects our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well being. This organization recognizes that in order to walk a good and productive path, we must be healthy in all four quadrants of the medicine wheel teachings.
For Indigenous people, art is the very soul of our spirituality. It's our every movement, dance and song - it is in every stroke of paint, every bead sewn, every feather placed.
We must continue to teach and protect this way of being. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves so that our children may be able to carry on our work.
From within and outside of our communities, we will create the spaces, provide the resources and facilitate communal approaches to the retention of cultural knowledge.
- Spaces and Resources • We believe that access to quality programming, appropriate spaces and art resources will facilitate experiential education and compliment formal educational institutes. We also feel in that making these spaces available to non-Indigenous visitors, we are creating an educational environment that speaks to inter-cultural respect and co-admiration.
- Pedagogy • Place-based education employs the entire community and allows youth to be grounded in their own culture with hands-on, project-based learning.
- Reconciliation • This organization is committed to the reparation of inter-generational trauma and the empowerment of the next seven generations. It is imperative that we teach not only confidence in history and culture but also co-operative and respectful interrelations with our Canadian neighbours.
- Protection and Safety for Women • Our board of directors is built by strong Indigenous women. We are aware that we are more likely to go missing, be murdered or be victims of violence. We are also aware that we are not as likely to be investigated as non-Indigenous victims of violence; crimes against us often go unnoticed or are not valued as worthy of investigation. There is often no justice. This organization reaches at risk women both on and off reserve and provides accessible, safe cultural activities.
preserves and revitalizes Indigenous art forms and empowers artists in the following ways:
- Increased economic stability through employment
- Increased physical activity
- Access to material resources
- Access to community networking, connections to instructors/mentors/elders
- Free marketing, advertising and publicity (artist directory, business branding, web and graphic design
- Exhibition and sale venues in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous settings
- Workshops, conferences (Indigenous Women's Arts Conference) and gatherings
Iehstoseranón:nha (She Keeps the Feathers)
Mary Francis Whiteman
Founder & President
Dawn Setford (Mary Francis Whiteman) Iehstoseranón:nha (She Keeps the Feathers) is Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), Wakhskare:wake (Bear Clan) and a Feather Keeper, territory of St.Regis/Akwesasne.
Dawn's background is in the arts and focuses on traditional feather keeping and bird medicine workshops, business branding (graphic and web design), business marketing and human resources management.
Pass The Feather is a sole proprietorship and offers custom feather medicines, graphic and website design. Full bio on her personal website.
Her work as founder of the IACC spans a decade and includes Indigenous Women's Arts Conference, Remember Me: National Day of Remembrance (1st ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation), the construction of IndigenARTSY - a massive on line e-commerce website for IACC membership artists as well as all all original programming and day to day workings of the non profit organization. Dawn and the entire board of directors are volunteer and do not take any compensation for their work.
Over the years, Dawn has established important relationships with countless Elders, Indigenous women and organizations and welcomes all to contribute, collaborate with and join her in her work to uplift Indigenous women and protect endangered Indigenous art forms.
Dawn is pictured above in the black ribbon skirt alongside workshop participants, workshop facilitator Frankie Pasap, friend and former IACC director Talena Atfield and current co-director Jenny Sutherland.
Mihko-Asiniy-Kinepik-Iskwew (Cree for Red Stone Snake Woman) and I come from the Muskegowuk territory of the Moose Cree First Nation, the Mosoniw-ililiwak. I live in the unceded territory of the Alonquins, in Manotick, and it is an honour to serve here.
mother | psychotherapist | artist
Jenny Sutherland is a proud member of Moose Cree First Nation, the Mosoniy-Illilew, and was born and raised in Moosonee, Ontario, Mushkegowuk territory. She is honoured to reside on the beautiful unceded territory of the Algonquins, where she created Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Lodge.
Jenny holds an Honours BA in Psychology and Masters in Social Work graduate. She spent the beginning of her career as a registered psychotherapist servicing the foster youth of Connor Homes. During this time, she developed and continues to coordinate the Indigenous Treatment Program that aims to ensure Indigenous youth in care receive access to their culture and traditions, elders and traditional healers, and that the people caring for them are culturally competent. During this time, Jenny began her own reconnection with traditional ceremonies and medicine men with whom guide much of the work she does. She currently apprentices under Pete Bernard, the Algonquin Medicine Man.
Jenny is a Healer, Artist and a Visionary. She loves developing programming and creating the needed platforms for healers to help serve. As a Truth and Reconciliation Specialist she also works hard to create the needed bridges to mend relationships and unite one another. She also loves helping to reconnect people to the land and All Our Relations, and thus ensures clients are earthing/grounding and participating in medicine walks so they are receiving the needed connection and healing from the Earth. Her approach to well-being is Holistic and Land based, and helps clients to understand their interconnection to All things. Jenny also provides healing through heArt workshops, where clients can connect within and tap into their creative outlets.
Owner & Operator at Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Lodge and Indigenous Treatment Program Coordinator at Connor Homes (Treatment Foster Homes)
Lindsey Kirby McGregor
mother | educator
Lindsey is a member of Whitefish River First Nation. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work (Indigenous Specialization) from the UVictoria, a Master of Education from UOttawa, and is beginning her MA studies with Professor Ruth Kane in January 2019.
Lindsey has been teaching and managing Indigenous programs at Willis College since 2015 where she has developed and taught an Indigenous Community Service Work Program that became accredited by the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada, as well as a three-week course in Indigenous Knowledge for the Helping Professions for Indigenous Personal Support Worker students.
Lindsey developed and coordinated two programs for Indigenous women through Minwaashin Lodge, including a program that trained 8 Indigenous women as literacy and basic skills tutors to work with clients at Oshki Kizis Lodge, a domestic violence shelter.
She has assisted with Circle of Care facilitation for families involved with the Children’s Aid Society through Wabano Center. She has lived and worked in Kuujjuaraapik, Kuujjuaq, and Kangirsujuaq, Nunavik in various community roles and has supported many Inuit students from Nunavut and Nunavik, to upgrade their skills as well as successfully complete college-level studies in the city of Ottawa. Most recently, she has been assisting in the evaluation of the Nunavik Teacher Education Programs offered by Kativik Ilisarniliriniq.
employees | liasón
Membership Programs Manager
Kikki Guerard is the IACC’s Membership Program Manager, whose main focus is assisting the IACC President, maintaining the artist directory, working with membership artists, and coordinating programs such as IndigenARTSY, Indigenous Arts Marketplace / Facebook Auction.
Kikki is an emerging Two-Spirt + Swampy Cree artist currently residing in Tkaronto, ON. They are a member of Taykwa Tagamou First Nation, born on Treaty 9 territory. Currently, Kikki is in the final year of their Bachelor's Degree program in Marketing at OCAD University and is set to graduate in June 2023. Their interests include working with Indigenous youth, creative writing, and photography.
West Coast Liasón
Artist, Morricetown First Nation
Charrine Naziel-Lace is a Northwest Coast Indian Arts and Crafts Professional, carver, and illustrator.
A member of the Moricetown First Nation in the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako, Charrine has 20 years of experience in the First Nations Art Industry. A graduate of the Ksan Carving School, BC and Gitanmaax (Kitanmax) School of Northwest Coast Indian Art, Charrine has built on old art traditions while studying in the styles and techniques of master carvers and artists. She is also a graduate of Cowansville Vocational Education Training Centre, Cowansville, QC where she became proficient in design and layout.
Works to her credit include the design of the Moricetown First Nations Flag and illustrations for the Wet\'suwet\'en Children\'s First Language book series, which included \"The Pink and Sockeye Salmon\", a story about bullying.
Charrine is owner of Wet'suwet'en Native Arts in Morricetown, B.C. She is passionate about working in the Northwest Coast Indian style and is very excited to promote west coast art with our AACC programs.