Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

Save the Dates: The Indigenous Archives Gathering | TIFF Lightbox | Oct 17–18

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TIFF Bell Lightbox (Tkaronto, Dish With One Spoon Territory)

October 17–18, 2022

Tickets: $15 per session, or $50 for a full pass that covers all sessions and keynotes across both days. See the Ticketing & Registration section on our new finalized schedule page for links to buy tickets on the TIFF website.

*If the ticket pricing listed above in any way poses a financial barrier for you, please reach out to kmo@counterarchive.ca for more information on our free ticketing options.

The Indigenous Archives Gathering will bring together Indigenous artists, film and media specialists, archivists, curators, Knowledge Keepers, Elders, memory workers and scholars from across Canada. Themes of traces and care will be explored through three perspectives 1) access, 2) engagement, 3) activation of archives from different First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities as well as regions.

The central focus of the Indigenous Archives Gathering will be media art archives and related intangible archives that exist within a range of situations: traditional memory institutions, artist-run centres, communities, homes/private life. The aim is to foster vital conversations and allow participants to share knowledge, identify needs, best practices and experiences about the current state of Indigenous media art archives in Canada. The presentations and outcomes of this gathering will be published as a part of Archive/Counter-Archive’s publication series. 

Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to continue cultural practices of gathering and collaboration are incredibly important given the long history of colonial attempts through legislation and pass and permit systems to control our movement and our ability to come together. Gatherings help form the structure and foundation of our kinship and relationality to care. 

By hosting the Indigenous Archives Gathering, we aim to create a space for Indigenous individuals and groups who are doing the important memory work in collections to come together in conversation with each other. 


  • Jennifer LeBlanc (Queen’s University) 

Steering Committee:

  • Linda Grussani (Convenor, Queen’s University) 
  • Jennifer Dysart (MFA York University, independent filmmaker) 
  • Niki Little (NFB North West Studio) 
  • Lisa Myers (York University) 
  • Julie Nagam (University of Winnipeg) 
  • Dylan Robinson (Queen’s University)
  • Daina Warren (Urban Shaman)
  • Stacy Allison-Cassin (Dalhousie University)
  • Naomi Johnson (imagineNATIVE)

A/CA Project Management Committee:

  • Janine Marchessault (York University) 
  • Aimée Mitchell (York University)
  • Antoine Damiens (York University)
  • Andrew Bailey (York University)
  • Dhvani Ramanujam (York University)


*All sessions on Day One will take place in Cinema 3 and be MC'd by Stacy Allison-Cassin

9:00 AM–10:00 AM, Registration: Coffee, tea, and visiting/networking. 

10:00 AM–10:30 AM, Morning Opening: Elder Opening, Pauline Shirt. 

10:30 AM–12:00 PM, Opening Keynote - What gets saved? What gets left behind? Keynote with Sherry Farrell-Racette and Marjorie Beaucage discussing Indigenous peoples/communities and Archives. This exchange will help to set up the framework to be explored at the Gathering. 

12:00 PM–2:00 PM, Lunch: A list of nearby affordable food options to potentially visit over the lunch break will be provided closer to the date.

2:00 PM–3:30 PM, Afternoon Session - Indigenous Archives in Conversation: Jennifer Smith, Kayla Lar-Son, Jessica Kotierk, and Roger Lewis. Moderator: Stacy Allison-Cassin.

3:30 PM-4:00 PM, Break

4:00 PM–5:30 PM, Short Film Programme - Echoes and (Re)Traces: Screening Land and Cultural Knowledge: Luke Parnell, Remediation (2018); Jennifer Dysart, Revisiting Keewatin Missions (2021); Adrian Kahgee, Everything is Right Here (2021); and Caroline Monnet, Mobilize (2015). Moderator: David Garneau.


*Workshops will be held in the TIFF Learning Studios, and the Closing Keynote will be located in Cinema 3

9:30–10:00 AM: Coffee, tea, and visiting/networking.

10:00 AM–12:00 PM, Morning Workshops: *Workshops are free and open to Indigenous participants only. Click here for more registration information for the two workshops. Respondent to Workshops: Linda Grussani.

  • 10:00–11:00 AM: Workshop #1 - Indigenous Media Art Archives with Jennifer Smith. This workshop discusses the potential of creating an Indigenous Media Art Archive, starting with a discussion of the 1994 Drumbeats to Drumbytes conference, in which a group of Indigenous artists working in media art discussed a need and desire for an Indigenous Media Art Archive. 28 years later, what are the challenges and possibilities of such an archive? 
  • 11:00–12:00 PM: Workshop #2 - Lifting Our Hands Together: Indigenous Protocols in Archives with Kayla Lar-Son. This workshop explores the concept of Indigenous Data/Knowledge Sovereignty and how it relates to archives, as well as discovering tools that archives can use to work with Indigenous communities to evaluate their access policies and procedures. 

12:00 PM–1:00 PM, Catered Lunch (for workshop participants only)

1:00 PM–2:30 PM, Closing Keynote - Archival Connections: Through thoughtful conversation, Suzanne Morrissette and Krista Ulujuk Zawadski will engage the gathering’s discussions around the vitalization of archives, as well as talk about their approaches to activating and engaging with objects of material and visual culture often found in personal homes, archives and collections.