John Kim Bell (OC) – Born on the Kahnawake Mohawk Reserve in Quebec, Bell studied music since he was eight. The first Aboriginal person to ever conduct a symphony orchestra, Mr. Bell has built what is now the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Canada’s premiere charity providing financial support to Aboriginal youth pursuing educational development in business, science, health, medicine, and the performing and visual arts. Mr. Bell is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has received the Order of Ontario. In 2005, Mr. Bell was appointed one of five Canadian advisors to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and is currently the President & CEO of Bell & Bernard Limited, a firm that specializes in First Nations-Corporate-Government Relations.
Ryan Rice, a Mohawk of Kahnawake, Quebec is an artist and curator. Rice received a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and received an Associate of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has worked for the past 17 years within the museum/art gallery milieu at various centers including the Iroquois Indian Museum, Indian Art Centre, Carleton University Art Gallery and the Walter Phillips Art Gallery. He has published articles in the periodicals – Canadian Art, Spirit, Fuse, Muse and Blackflash. Rice is also a co-founder and former director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. His exhibitions include ANTHEM: Perspectives on Home and Native Land, Oh So Iroquois, Scout’s Honour, LORE, Hochelaga Revisited, ALTERNATION and Soul Sister: Re-imagining Kateri Tekakwitha. In 2009, he joined the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico as Chief Curator.
Kent Monkman is an artist of Cree ancestry who works in a variety of media including painting, film/video, performance and installation. Monkman has exhibited widely within Canada, and is well represented in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Maxine Noel is Santee Oglala Sioux, born on the Birdtail Reservation in south-western Manitoba. Noel was one of the first artists to work with the Canada and Africa Village Twinning Programs, and she is a founding Board Member of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Noel has also lectured at the Saskatchewan School of Fine Arts, the University of Western Ontario, the Ontario College of Art, and served as a panel member at the Canadian Heritage Symposium for the Minister of Culture. Maxine Noel has received the Golden Jubilee Medal, a creation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in honour of her outstanding service to Canada.
Shirley Moorhouse lives in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. From a young age she observed her parents and grandparents create clothing, objects and household items of both function and beauty. In her paintings, drawings, wall hangings and installation art she explores boundaries, both real and imagined, on the flexibility and strength of women and family, the environment and citizenship. Since 1996, Moorhouse has exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions. She is a volunteer and sits on the Board of Directors for the NunaKatiget Inuit Community Corporation in Goose Bay, Labrador and also a Director for the Inuit Art Foundation, Ottawa, Ontario.
Bonnie Devine is a member of Serpent River First Nation, Genaabaajing, Anishinaabe Ojibwa territory in central Ontario, on the north shore of Lake Huron. She is a sculptor, painter, curator, writer, and educator whose work emerges from a deep interest in and commitment to the storytelling and image-making traditions that are central to Anishinaabe culture. Formally educated in sculpture and installation practice at the Ontario College of Art and Design and York University, her most enduring learning came from her parents and grandparents, particularly her grandmother, Maggie Meawasige.
The 2011 recipient of the Eiteljorg Fellowship of Contemporary Native American Art, her artistic work has been recognized internationally. Bonnie Devine has worked as an Associate Professor at OCAD University (formerly known as the Ontario College of Art and Design) since 2008. As the first tenured professor of Aboriginal descent at OCAD University, she developed the Indigenous Visual Culture program, an interdisciplinary academic and student services initiative that began as a cluster of Indigenous and student-centered courses and events.
Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed winning literary works including:Sojourner’s and Sundogs, Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, Daughters Are Forever, Will’s Garden, Bent Box, I Am Woman, and First Wives’ Club: Salish Style, and is co-editor of a number of anthologies including the award winning My Home As I Remember, Telling It: Women and Language Across Culture. Ms. Maracle is a member of the Sto:Loh nation. Maracle has served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor at both University of Toronto and Western Washington University. In 2009, Ms. Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the St. Thomas University. Upcoming work: Memory Serves: and other words
Brian Maracle is the author of Crazywater (1993) and Back on the Rez (1996) and the Mohawk-language film Tsi Tkahehtayen (2009). A former journalist for CBC Radio and The Globe and Mail, Brian Maracle lives on the Six Nations Grand River Territory where he writes English commentaries and a Mohawk blog.
An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, Drew Hayden Taylor has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright, a journalist/columnist, short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on over 17 documentaries exploring the Native experience.
Rachel A. Qitsualik was born into the traditional Inuit culture of the 1950s. She has worked as an educator, bureaucrat, consultant, translator and writer and has published 300+ articles on Inuit culture/folklore in various countries. Together with her husband, she has recently published a number of Inuit-inspired fantasy fiction stories including the 2008 book Qanuq Pinngurnirmata: Inuit Stories of How Things Came to Be
Barbara Van Haute is a Métis woman born and raised in Manitoba. Recently, she has been appointed as Research Fellow to the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. She is currently working with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples to facilitate the development of various legislative, health and justice initiatives that speak to the needs and interests of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples at the federal level.
Mark Reid is Editor-in-Chief of Canada’s History magazine. An award-winning writer and editor, Mark contributed two chapters to the book Native Leaders of Canada (2008). He also edited 100 Photos that Changed Canada (HarperCollins 2009), a national bestseller.