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Indigenous Art Conference
March 1-3, 2019
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Tansi! Tawnshi! Tawow! Shé:kon! Annii! Boozhoo! Kwey Kwey! ᐊᐃ

The AACC is very pleased to be working on this small project with friends, artists and community members.

The purpose of this project is to provide basic art workshops to people who need more access to learning traditional Indigenous art forms, are subject to restricted budgets and cannot normally afford Indigenous arts workshops, or have been disconnected from their family/community and culture and seek to (re)connect with traditional teachings. Secondarily, the conference will offer a gathering place central to many urban FNMI individuals (Vanier neighbourhood, Ottawa) for evening performances and knowledge sharing.

We welcome all who share our concerns for endangered Indigenous art form and artists and thank those who have already offered their support to this small initiative including artists, Algonquin Elders and volunteers.

This project is in it's preliminary phase and will rely heavily on funding and volunteers. If you'd like to volunteer, please email If you'd like to know more about the AACC, please explore our website.


Indigenous Artists and Vendors:

I am the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Arts Collective of Canada (you may also know it as Pass The Feather). The AACC is an Incorporated Canadian Not-for-profit Organization (Corporation # 9469869). Pass The Feather is now a registered business name under which I work as an artist (formerly was the name of our programming under the AACC).

This year our focus is on hosting an Indigenous Arts Conference in Ottawa (March 2019). I know that seems far away but in order to secure funding, the work has to be done now.

The objective of this conference is to ensure that knowledge of traditional Indigenous art forms are taught and shared across our communities.

We all have the right to learn how to make the things that our ancestors made – regardless of financial status.

We all have a responsibility to teach our youth the history and spirituality that comes with creating hand made items.

This conference intends to offer all or some the following free workshops to Indigenous adults:

drum making
rattle making
moccasin making
quill work
traditional jewelry
drum/song circles
traditional medicines
warrior bracelets
traditional dancing
web design for small business
smudge feathers/feather bundles
tattoo art
*if you're workshop does not fit into any of these categories, please send your information. We stand for diversity.

Traditional teachings WILL be the focus of every workshop ensuring that people have Indigenous context to the product that they make or skill they learn.

For example:

• Drum workshop may include activity/information on the birthing of a drum
• Smudge Feathers will include bird medicines and spiritual concepts of smudging
• Painting will include teachings such as the medicine wheel colours, pictoral symbolism
• Dancing will include teachings behind movements and regalia (jingle dress, stomp dance)

* we are limited to traditional art forms. Contemporary art forms are not eligible under this event.


If you are interested in setting up a free vendor booth or facilitating a workshop, please write a short 'Notice of Participation' to:

the notice of participation is required to secure event funding and your role in the conference.

If you do not know Dawn Setford personally, please include your teaching experience or art form in your email.

We are ONLY looking for vendors and artists that create traditional hand made arts with products sourced on Turtle Island.

You MUST be First Nations, Métis or Inuit and hold a status card. If you do not hold a status card for political or personal reasons, please provide the reason. We are only trying to ensure that we do not allow any non-Indigenous artists to teach or sell in our space.

*a sample of a 'letter of participation' and web form can be found at

This is going to be an amazing event where we all can come together to learn, sell, teach and connect.