2016 Artists: Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree from Saskatchewan and a master’s student in history at the University of Waterloo.His work centres on trauma and memory within populations of Métis and Cree in Northern Saskatchewan, and the Algonquin of Timiskaming, Ontario. Specifically, he looks at how history can be applied to understand the effects of intergenerational trauma in contemporary Indigenous populations. His work is directed towards community healing and cultural reclamation as well as retrieval of oral history archives—termed as truth-telling as defined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission—challenging orthodox settler histories in the narrative of Turtle Island. Jesse is also interested in how the arts—film, writing, dance, painting and illustration—can be used to as a mode of resistance, cultural revitalization, and land reclamation among Indigenous peoples.

Follow Jesse on Twitter: @michifMan

Find out more about Jesse & his work on his blog.

Join us for Unharvested Histories on Oct. 15th to view Jesse’s film, kiskisiwin – remembering, created in partnership with 2015 Staging Our Histories artist Martha Stiegman.

Kayla Carter

I am  a writer, a storyteller, a poet,  an actor,  and a dancer. I am a Toronto-born artist who is of Jamaican, Cuban, Maroon and Taino ancestry and believes that her existence is not accidental nor is it coincidental. I believe that art is a healing, transformative and meditative process not only for those who are receiving it but also giving it. My work focuses on regimes of trauma, healing, diaspora, affect, shame, institutions and histories of violence, queer theory, blackness, transnational feminist thought and storytelling.  I am currently completing my Masters in the Critical Disability Studies Department at York University, where I am focusing on mental health within Caribbean communities, histories of ancestral trauma and how there is healing through art.

I have always been of the belief that telling our stories is how we step into an understanding of our past. For Fried Plantains is how I understand my past. I am so honoured to be part of Staging Histories because it is a space where the cultivation of histories that are so often forgotten is honoured, cultivated and respected.