Activism & Art: A Conversation About Residential Schools

July 20th, 2021

Join us on Tuesday, July 20th, at 7pm EDT for Activism & Art – A Conversation About Residential Schools with multidisciplinary artist & educator Jay Havens, interdisciplinary media artist Terrance Houle and artist, art educator & art therapist Megan Kanerahtenha:wi Whyte.  The gathering will be moderated by Algonquin Knowledge Carrier Monique Manatch.


Jay Havens (he/him/they) is a multi-disciplinary 2Spirit artist and educator of Haudenosaunee, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Scottish ancestry with over 17 years’ experience working across Turtle Island (North America) and internationally on projects for stage, public installation, and exhibition. Havens is a trained scenographer who has designed works for the New York State Museum, Cities of Vancouver, Stratford, Mississauga, and Waterfront Toronto, as well as sets, costumes and recently projection for site-specific events like the Pacific National Exhibition, UBC Botanical Gardens and Caravan Farm Theatre. He has made over two dozen murals in both the Sto:lo Region (Fraser River) and in Haudenosaunee Territories in modern day Ontario and New York State with learners of all ages and in community engagement. Jay is currently living on unceded lands of the Stz’uminus Nation in so called British Columbia. See for more information.

Terrance Houle (Niitsitapi/ Saulteaux) is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary media artist and a member of the Kainai Nation/ Blood Tribe. Involved with Aboriginal communities all his life, he has travelled to reservations throughout North America participating in Powwow dancing along with his native ceremonies. His work ranges from subversive to humorous absurdity to solemn and poetic artistic expressions. His work often relates to the physical body as it investigates issues of history, colonization, Aboriginal identity and representation in popular culture, as well as conceptual ideas based on memory, home, and reserve communities. Houle works in whatever media strikes him, and has produced work in photography, painting, installation, mass marketing, performance, music, video, and film. Houle’s work has been exhibited across Canada, the United States, Australia, the UK and Europe. 

Since 2014, Houle has been working on an ongoing collaborative project titled GHOST DAYS. GHOST DAYS evokes colonial and non-colonial histories that exist in the light of night as in the darkness of the day, and awakens a collaboration with artists, audience, and spirit. 

Currently, He has co-directed a short animation Otanimm/Onnimm with his daughter Neko Wong-Houle which is currently touring Film festivals, In Los Angeles, NYC, Toronto, New Zealand, Vancouver, Oxford & many more. Recently their short film won the prestigious Golden Sheaf Indigenous Award at Yorkton Film Festival and is Neko’s First Award in Film at 17 years old. Houle is based in Calgary, Alberta.

Megan Kanerahtenha:wi Whyte (MA, ATPQ, RCAT) is a Kanienkeha’ka artist, art educator and art therapist from the Kanienkeha’ka First Nations. Within the mental health field, Megan explores the intersections between art materials and Indigenous ways of knowing with emphasis on how art making can foster cultural identity and cultural safety. As a community-based art therapist, Megan facilitates both traditional art therapy for children, youth and families as well as grassroots collective art-making initiatives such as group murals, sculptures and pop-up Art Hives that explore mental health, cultural accessibility and social justice.  Outside of this art therapy practice, Megan also explores environmental, cultural, reproductive, and social justice in both her own art-making as well as through grassroots community art projects.