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Artist in Residence Program


Wayne Valliere (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe)

Our 2020 Artist-in-Residence on-campus programming is currently postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wayne Valliere (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), is a recipient of this year’s National Heritage Fellowship.  Mino-giizhig is a well-respected birchbark canoe builder and artist in the community. Chosen to be a culture bearer by his elders, Valliere is skilled in many cultural art practices and also works in several traditional art forms such as regalia making, basketry, pipe making, drum making, and the crafting of hunting tools, traps, lodges, snowshoes, and cradleboards. According to Valliere, "The greatest blessing I have as a Native artist is having the opportunity to be in the forest harvesting materials. It keeps me in balance with her as well as remembering the teachings of my elders."

Mino-giizhig currently teaches Language and Culture at the Lac du Flambeau Public School, where he teaches hundreds of youth a year to practice their culture through the traditional arts. He has taught birchbark canoe building with students and apprentices in Lac du Flambeau, at the Indian Community School in Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and with the communities of Bois Forte, Red Lake, and the Forest County Potawatomi. His next canoe project will involve constructing a canoe on the Northwestern campus.

Additional articles, interviews and photos of Valliere's work can be found here.

Previous artist in residence


Dr. Margaret Wickens Pearce is Citizen Band Potawatomi and a cartographer. Sheis the author of several award-winning maps, including Coming Home to Indigenous Place Names in Canada (2017), Ivoka Eli-Wihtamakw Kәtahkinawal/This is how we name our lands (2015) in collaboration with Penobscot Nation Cultural & Historic Preservation, and They Would Not Take Me There: People, Places and Stories from Champlain’s Travels in Canada, 1603-1616 (2008), in collaboration with Michael J. Hermann. Her work focuses on expanding cartographic language for better representation of story, dialogues, place, and Indigenous geographies. 

During her time at Northwestern, she is at work mapping the Mississippi River using the pre-Army Corps shorelines, intertwined with Indigenous place names and language, into which map she will place public opinion about flooding and flood control. The work draws on archival and place-based research and fieldwork to Indigenize the river as the place of beginning for talking about flood management.

Margaret will be in conversation with Andrew Britt and Kelly Wisecup on "Re/Mapping Indigenous and Afro-descendent Geographies" on May 6, 2019.

On May 17, 2019 Margaret will deliver the keynote titled: “One Place Because of Another: Mapping Indigenous Geographies”  at CNAIR’s spring research symposium.


Rosy Simas and Heid E. Erdrich

In November and December 2017, Rosy Simas (Seneca) and Heid E. Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) will be the Center’s inaugural short-term artists in residence. Rosy Simas is an award-winning Haudenosaunee (Seneca Nation, Heron Clan) mid-career choreographer based in Minneapolis, MN; she is a desHeid Erdrichigner and director of dance, solo and collaborative performer, movement-based and multidisciplinary teacher, events curator, Indigenous and multicultural arts advocate, and mentor of diverse artists. Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five collections of poetry including her new book, Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media, from Michigan State University Press.

During the residencies, Simas will set a production of her piece Skin(s) on campus on December 1 and 2; Nais SimasErdrich will give poetry readings on and off campus; and both artists will participate in a dialogue about their poetic and performative collaborations.


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