About the IACC
In taking inspiration from the Haudenosaunee Seventh Generation Principle, Iehstoseranón:nha (Dawn), 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 and world views.
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 (birth name: 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 over 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 Elders, artists, Indigenous women and organizations. She welcomes all to contribute, collaborate with and join her in her work to empower 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.
Lindsey Kirby McGregor
mother | educator | change maker
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 managed Indigenous programs at Willis College and she 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.
Lindsey is now acting Program Manager of Indigenous Relations for the City of Ottawa. The Indigenous Relations Office works alongside Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to identify opportunities for systemic changes that improve access to programs and services and supports the City’s work to further reconciliation. Meet Lindsey at https://youtu.be/Hb1NcG63n74
IACC employees ware sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts, Long Term Projects grant.
employees | liasón
advocate, ally, master organizer
Shannon is our new Executive Assistant. She joined IACC in July 2022 and has been a master organizer for our Parliament Hill National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous Women’s Arts Conference.
Although Shannon is non-Indigenous, her drive to support others led her to pursue a degree in Social Work at Trent University. It was here that Shannon learned about the injustices and marginalization Indigenous women have and continue to face in Canada. This encouraged Shannon to seek out more knowledge and make connections with Indigenous professors and students in her academic career. Shannon is very grateful to be able to continue learning from the amazing women at IACC and is very fortunate to have the opportunity to use her degree to support an organization that uplifts Indigenous women and promotes the preservation of cultural knowledge and art forms.
Karonhianonha Mikayla Francis
Communications & Outreach Manager
performer • song writer • advocate
Karonhianonha has worked alongside IACC since July 2022 and has been an asset and performer for our Parliament Hill National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous Women’s Arts Conference. As of April, 2023, Mikayla has permanently come on board as IACC's new Communications and Outreach Manager.
Karonhianonha (Guh- loon-hya-new-huh) “She Protects the Skies” Francis , a Wolf Clan woman of the Kanienkehaka Nation, within the Hotinonshonni Confederacy. Raised in Akwesasne alongside her 7 siblings, Karonhianonha has been sharing her gifts within her community as a singer, cultural educator, film editor, and much more.
Recently, her work as a cultural educator has led to great relationships with local museums, tourism agencies, Akwesasne Artisans, knowledge holders, and beyond. Her dedication and passions led her to working alongside Louise Wakerakas:te Herne, Condoled Bear Clan Mother towards the healing ways of women in her community and introducing families to traditional practices and teachings.
In the past few years, Karonhianonha has also been gaining recognition for her singing voice as a Travel Troupe singer/dancer/presenter with The Native North American Travelling College sharing traditional social songs and dance. While also touring alongside inspirational Indigenous artists and expanding in her own original music. Her voice has been known to be shared at Moon lodge ceremonies for healing women and girls through traditional practices. She has echoed the streets of Ottawa at Parliament Hill for Remember Me Day of Truth and Reconciliation to honor the bloodlines lost and mourning.
Both in front of the cameras and behind; her work in Indigenous storytelling through filmmaking to reporting live from Akwesasne TV has created a few highlights in Akwesasne. While away from the workplace, Karonhianonha has many personal accomplishments ranging from Women’s Box Lacrosse medals, skateboarding stories, to raising her toddler on tour.
Her journey has brought so many incredible peaks and she is excited to contribute to the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada team!
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.