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4th Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary Schedule

All events will be hosted in Yellowknife, Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).
Note that times in New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) are the following day.
To register, click “Register Now” in the menu. You can view or download the schedule PDF below.
Each panel will last approximately one hour.

Thursday, August 19th Friday, August 20th Saturday, August 21st Sunday, August 22nd

Thursday, August 19

Welcome from the Partners
8:30 AM PDT | 9:30 AM MDT | 10:30 AM CDT | 11:30 PM EDT | 5:30 AM HST | 3:30 AM FRI, 20 NZST

Each partner will provide a brief overview of their involvement and their organization.

Davis Heslep, Western Arctic Moving Pictures
Mandee McDonald, Dene Nahjo
Jason Edward Lewis, Initiative for Indigenous Futures

Moderator: Dëneze Nakehk’o, Dene Nahjo

(Session 1) History and Looking Towards Futurism
9:15 AM PDT | 10:15 AM MDT | 11:15 AM CDT | 12:15 PM EDT | 6:15 AM HST | 4:15 AM FRI, 20 NZST

Yellowknife Dene First Nation History and looking to the future.

Chief Edward Sangris (Yellowknife Dene First Nation)

Break
9:45 AM PDT | 10:45 AM MDT | 11:45 AM CDT | 12:45 PM EDT | 6:45 AM HST | 4:45 AM FRI, 20 NZST

(Session 2): Panel 1: Reciprocity in Knowledge Sharing – The Digital Age
10 AM PDT | 11 AM MDT | 12 PM CDT | 1 PM EDT | 7 AM HST | 5 AM FRI, 20 NZST

This panel will touch on issues around the digital transmission of knowledge versus traditional ways of teaching. Is the lack of feedback through digital systems an unhealthy way of acknowledging where knowledge comes from? Are terms like self-taught dangerous? Is knowledge devalued when broadly available through digital platforms?

Tania Larsson Artist
Cease Wyss
(IM4 Initiative)
Owisokon Lahache
(Initiative for Indigenous Futures)
Melaw Nakehk’o Artist

Moderator: Dëneze Nakehk’o (Dene Nahjo)

Lunch Break
11 AM PDT | 12 PM MDT | 1 PM CDT | 2 PM EDT | 8 AM HST | 6 AM FRI, 20 NZST

(Session 3) Panel 2: Creativity and Indigenous Governance
12 PM PDT | 1 PM MDT | 2 PM CDT | 3 PM EDT | 9 AM HST | 7 AM FRI, 20 NZST

What are our visions for the future of Indigenous governance? How do we constitute a community/collective/nation? How do we think more broadly about, and bring forward visions of, relationality in how we practice governance? How do digital technologies support this work?

Daniel T’seleie (Dene Nahjo)
Amos Scott
(Dene Nahjo)
Mandee McDonald (University of Alberta) (Dene Nahjo)
Dallas Hunt
(University of British Columbia)

Moderator: Gina Starblanket (University of Victoria, Indigenous Governance)

(Session 4) Indigenous Futures: Rooted and Ascending
– Virtual Gallery & Roundhouse Vernissage in Second Life

1 PM PDT | 2 PM MDT | 3 PM CDT | 4 PM EDT | 10 AM HST | 8 AM FRI, 20 NZST

Indigenous Futurism is a social and cultural movement that celebrates the power of imagination, technology, and self-determination. Indigenous artists cast visions that describe, often through the lens of science fiction and cosmology, their own utopian ideals. This is the first show of contemporary Indigenous art in the NWT. Each artist here, whether using technology or traditional techniques, explores what is possible. If colonial oppression did not exist, what would the future look like?

AbTeC (Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace) Gallery is an Indigenously determined virtual exhibition space for contemporary art, located on AbTeC Island in Second Life. We are committed to showcasing the work of Indigenous artists. We also believe in the generative power of bringing Indigenous art into conversation with contemporary art in general, so we may also include art by non-Indigenous creators.

Instructions on How to Visit AbTeC Island:
abtec.land

Welcome & Technical Assistance by AbTeC
Skawennati (Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace)
Nancy Townsend
(Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace)

Gallery Tour by curators: Melaw Nakehk’o Artist
and Davis Heslep (Western Arctic Moving Pictures)

Friday, August 20

Welcome from the Partners
9 AM PDT | 10 AM MDT | 11 AM CDT | 12 PM EDT | 6 AM HST | 4 AM SAT, 20 NZST

Opening remarks, recap of the previous day.

Mandee McDonald (Dene Nahjo)
Jason Edward Lewis
(Initiative for Indigenous Futures)
Davis Heslep (Western Arctic Moving Pictures)

(Session 1) Panel 3: Using VR to Teach Language and Traditional Knowledge
9:15 AM PDT | 10:15 AM MDT | 11:15 AM CDT | 12:15 PM EDT | 6:15 AM HST | 4:15 AM SAT, 20 NZST

Throughout history, humans have developed different mediums and practices in preserving knowledge and culture. Virtual Reality (VR) is a medium which until recent years has been fairly exclusive due to the expensive technology and step learning curve in creating experiences. In recent years, this technology has become less expensive and more user friendly in the creation of 360/VR videos and 3D game environments through open-source game software like Unity. This panel will bring together an innovative, international group of cultural organizers using VR as a means to preserve and transmit language and traditional knowledge. We hope to construct this panel in groups of one organisational rep and one participant.

Panelists will discuss the trials and tribulations of creating these projects and the impacts they see that this technology will have on the future.

Laurie-Ann Lines, Ethan Black, Ali Abel, Cindy Jardine (Dechı̨ta Nàowo VR project)
Loretta Todd
(IM4 Initiative)
LeeAnne Ireland
 (Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth) + Thunder VR

Moderator: Casey Koyczan

Lunch Break
10:15 AM PDT | 11:15 AM MDT | 12:15 PM CDT | 1:15 PM EDT | 7:15 AM HST| 5:15 AM SAT, 21 NZST

(Session 2) Panel 4: Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence
12 PM PDT | 1 PM MDT | 2 PM CDT | 3 PM EDT | 9 AM HST | 7 AM SAT, 21 NZST

Report on the Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Workshops, Position Paper, and subsequent work.

Suzanne Kite (IP and AI Working Group) (Initiative for Indigenous Futures)
Michelle Lee Brown
(IP and AI Working Group) (Dartmouth College)
Dr. Noelani Arista
(IP and AI Working Group) (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)
Dr.
Hēmi Whaanga (IP and AI Working Group) (University of Waikato)
Scott Benesiinaabandan
(IP and AI Working Group) (Benesiinaabandan)

Moderator: Jason Edward Lewis (Initiative for Indigenous Futures)

(Session 3) Rooted and Ascending Exhibit – Opening Gala
6 PM PDT | 7 PM MDT | 8 PM CDT | 9 PM EDT | 3 PM HST | 1 PM SAT, 21 NZST

Exhibition opening: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Exhibit Walk-Through.

Melaw Nakehk’o Artist (to introduce Rooted and Ascending Exhibit)
Casey Koyczan (to introduce Moose Skin Dome Exhibit)

Saturday, August 21

Welcome from the Partners
9 AM PDT | 10 AM MDT | 11 AM CDT | 12 PM EDT | 6 AM HST | 4 AM SUN, 22 NZST

Opening remarks, recap of the previous day.

Jason Edward Lewis (Initiative for Indigenous Futures)

(Session 1) Panel 5: Decolonial Tools
9:15 AM PDT | 10:15 AM MDT | 11:15 AM CDT | 12:15 PM EDT | 6:15 AM HST | 4:15 AM SUN, 22 NZST

Can digital tools assist in the process of de-colonisation? This panel will bring together indigenous technologists and artists to discuss how their indigeneity informs the materials and technology they use in their practice. Panelists will also discuss their process in developing their relationships with technology.

Travis Mercredi (Outland Sound)
Lawrence Neyelle
Artist
Tsista Kenny
Artist

Moderator: Julie Nagam (Aabijijiwan), Jasmin Winter

Lunch Break
10:15 AM PDT | 11:15 AM MDT | 12:15 PM CDT | 1:15 PM EDT | 7:15 AM HST | 5:15 AM SUN, 22 NZST

(Session 2) Panel 6: Indigenous Digital Media Labs – Critical Mass
12 PM PDT | 1 PM MDT | 2 PM CDT | 4 PM EDT | 9 AM HST | 7 AM SUN, 22 NZST

We now have four established Indigenous-directed, Indigenous-focused digital media labs in Canada: Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (Montreal), Centre for Indigenous Media Arts (Kelowna), IM4 Lab (Vancouver) and Aabijijiwan (Winnipeg); with at least one more coming online soon: Jackson Two Bear’s lab in Lethbridge. We also have several Indigenous-directed units with some focus on Indigenous digital research-creation, such as the Indigenous Arts Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Stephen Foster’s proposed media lab at OCADU, and Kim TallBear’s RELAB in Edmonton. This panel will bring together the founders and/or directors of these labs to discuss the challenges of supporting Indigenous media creation and building capacity in digital technology with and for our communities, as well as the exciting opportunities for collaboration.

Tania Willard (Dechıt̨ a Nàowo VR project))
Loretta Todd
(IM4 Initiative)
Cease Wyss
(IM4 Initiative)
Jackson Two Bears
Renaltta Arluk
(Banff Indigenous Arts)
Jason Leigh
(LAVA Laboratory of Advanced Visualizations / Academy for Creative Media, Honolulu)

Moderator: Jason Edward Lewis (Initiative for Indigenous Futures)

(Session 3) A Night of Indigenous Sci-Fi
4 PM PDT | 5 PM MDT | 6 PM CDT | 7 PM EDT | 1 PM HST | 11 AM SUN, 22 NZST

An evening of Indigenous Sci-Fi short films available virtually.

(Session 1) Future of IIF
9 AM PDT | 10 AM MDT | 11 AM CDT | 12 PM EDT | 6 AM HST | 4 AM MON, 23 NZST

Jolene Rickard (Associate Professor, Cornell University)

Moderator: Skawennati (Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace))

(Session 2) Closing Ceremony
10 AM PDT | 11 AM MDT | 12 PM CDT | 1 PM EDT | 7 AM HST | 5 AM MON, 23 ZNST

Davis Heslep (Western Arctic Moving Pictures)
Mandee McDonald
(Dene Nahjo)
Jason Edward Lewis
(Initiative for Indigenous Futures)