Webinars: Indigenous Design

Truth through Textile Art: Conversation about living Indigenous cultures

Title: Truth through Textile Art: Conversation about living Indigenous cultures

Speakers: J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth (Ahousaht, Nuu-chah-nulth Nation Cedar Bark), Tracy Toulouse (Ojibway from the Bear clan), Nathalie Bertin (Métis/French)

Moderator: J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth

Date: November 18, 2020

Time: 16hrs Canada EST – 18hrs Argentina

Format: Webinar via Zoom. FB Live. Instagram Live.


Join Indigenous Textile artists and educators explore how truth is tackled through the art in a 90-minute panel discussion with Co-found of the Breathe Mask Collective, Nathalie Bertin, established Anshinabwe Textile Artist Tracy Toulouse, and recent recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts 2020 John Hobday Arts Management Award and Nuu-chah-nulth weaver and textile artist J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth.


J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth:

(One who gives away and still stands tall) is a member of the Ahousaht community within the Nuuchah-nulth homelands on Vancouver Island and is a descendant of whale hunters and cedar bark weavers. Cedar bark weaving is being revived and retained by peoples across the West Coast and J’net actively practices this timeless art form to ensure her children and future unborn generations continue the practice.

Artistically, J’net is also an emerging textile artist using distinct Nuu-chah-nulth West Coast art to create a unique expression as a vital way to retain and sustain oral story traditions on contemporary and recultured clothing.

As an Arts Educator J’net has a commitment to raising a positive profile of Indigenous peoples, imparting facts about a difficult colonial history and offering insights to ongoing contemporary contributions being made by diverse nations from throughout Turtle Island.
In her current permanent position with the Royal Ontario Museum as the Indigenous Outreach and Learning Coordinator J’net engages with the Indigenous community to assist the ROM with authentic representation of Indigenous peoples in our tours, Indigenous Professional Learning sessions, Indigenous special events and expand outreach throughout the province.
This positional also gives her direct access to departments within the museum to support the Still Stands Tall Indigenous Victorian Textile Art.

Tracy Toulouse:

She is from the North shores area in Northern Ontario and grew up on the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation. She is an Ojibway from the Bear clan. Toulouse’s inspiration to design clothing came from her grandmother, who is a respected and talented quilt-maker. As a child, she would sit by her grandmother’s side to watch her sew. Toulouse followed her interests by taking clothing construction courses in high school, then continuing on to creative fashion design instruction in college. She also completed an internship with the prominent Linda Lundstrom Company as part of her graduation from a three-year Business program. Toulouse shows her work throughout Canada and is known for her modern fashion lines as well as for her creation of elaborate and intricate custom regalia for clients. The collections showcased by Toulouse are inspired by the artistic motifs found in Aboriginal culture, arts, nature and her own creativity. Her pieces feature intricate and colorful appliqué designs on sophisticated, tailored and modern garments. These textile art creations range from one-of-a-kind traditional dance outfits and regalia to entire bridal parties. Her strong connection to her culture and identity is the creative force behind her designs. Her clothing company, Swirling Wind, was named in memory of her daughter. This life change has brought Toulouse strength, wisdom and humility to strive towards her goals and live in a good way. One of her cultural teachings is to share knowledge and skills with others. Toulouse volunteers with the Children’s Aid Society’s Aboriginal Children’s Cultural Program. By sharing her knowledge of regalia making, she hopes to reconnect Aboriginal youth with their traditional cultural values. Toulouse has been nominated for the Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism in Ontario. She launched a collection named Megwakwa (in the bush), and this line is infused with the artistic motifs that are recognized in her Ojibway culture. The basis of this collection incorporates the natural fabrics of leather, wool, and cotton; accentuated by hand-carved wood buttons, pipe bone and feather plumes. The production of this line is done in Northern Ontario and is proudly made by First Nation people. Recently, she participated in the first Bee the Change Aboriginal Fine Arts and Fashion Show at the Peachfest Aboriginal Cultural Village in Penticton. Toulouse was also a featured designer in the Fire and Fashion Live 2009 showcase in Toronto. The underlying motivation to Toulouse’s work as a textile artist is a profound belief in the spirit of the art that she puts into her clothes.

Nathalie Bertin:

(Métis/French) Artista Visual y Textil

Is a multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto, Ontario. She is Métis of French and Omàmiwininiwak ancestry. Bertin is a member of the Waawaashkeshi.

Bertin’s current body of work focuses on positive images of indigenous people as a means of confronting their romanticized depictions as seen throughout art history. She focuses especially on the women role models who have had an impact on her. Bertin’s projects are also inspired by traditional storytelling. In 2018, Bertin was awarded an Ontario Arts Council project grant for the creation of a series of beaded & quot; Moccushions©” that interpret traditional stories for future generations. From 2013-2015, Bertin’s illustrations were reproduced by the Royal Canadian Mint on collector coins.I


Ancestral Textile

Title: Ancestral Textile

Speakers: Elvira Challa Huasi, Celeste Valera (Colla), Andrés Casimiro (Purmamarca), Georgina Rivolta (Prof. Diseño Universidad de Rosario)

Moderator: Olga Corna

Date: November 20, 2020

Time: 16hrs Canada EST – 18hrs Argentina

Format: Webinar via Zoom. FB Live. Instagram Live.


Design emerges as a visible strategy to show how societies understand and appropriate symbols from culture. Indigenous people have shown their own identity and their own ancestral culture long before any other modern worldview. This conversatorium will expose the enterprises of small towns from Jujuy. Showing the diverse ethnic groups from the textile perspective and the Crafts / goldsmith’s perspective in the production of elements that are intrinsically related to both animals and materials from this region. Please join us and explore these wonderful productions intertwine the environment, handling of the loom in all its variants and the design of quality garments. Our guests’ speakers: Elvira Chaya Huasi, Celeste Valero and Andrés Casimiro. Professor DG Georgina Rivolta will present another perspective: recognizing how our own roots implies an appropriation of ancient cultures, and how this generates new interventions and work proposals.


Olga Corna:

Director of the School of Graphic Design. President of the Argentine Association of Canadian Studies (2000/2005) Re-elected in the Presidency of ASAEC 2015/2017 Director of the Canadian Studies Center (1990 and continuing). Establishment of the center as of 2008, Faculty of Political Science and RRII, with Headquarters in the Vice-Rector’s Office of the National University of Rosario. Director of the Center for Public Policies of the Foundation for International Democracy since November 2017 until present. Professor Chair of Communication and Political Speech, Faculty of Political Science and RRII (National University of Rosario). Professor, Chair of Languages II. School of Communication, Faculty of Political Science and RRII. Category Research: II, Ministry of Education of the Nation. Member of the Bank of Evaluators.

Elvira Challa Huasi:

CHALLA HUASI was born in the year 2000, with my family, where we shared with my 4 daughters the design and production of author in metal, with Andean design of the town of Yavi, of which we are descendants. We transmit in our pieces the culture inherited from our ancestors, telling our story.

Since our beginnings, we participate in National and international fairs.

We started in our city in 2002, then we participated in Fairs and Festivals of traditional crafts in almost the entire country. Until 2019

Parade of the social economy in Santiago de Chile- Chile 2012

Yeosu Fair 2012 Technology and Sea Countries Fair, Social Economy Week – Yeosu South Korea

From 2012 Pure Design Fair until 2018

International Fairs, Lisbon Fair – Portugal, 2013

Georgina Rivolta

She is Graphic Designer from School of Design of Rosario.  Teaching since 1992, as assistant professor and head of Expressive Resources in the career of Graphic Design, and currently a Professor at the School of Design Rosary beads.

Celeste Valero:

Summary of skills
Skilled in the Art of Textile Crafts, pushka spinning, pedal loom weaving,
waist and natural dyes. Experienced in photography and clothing design. Manages
English language.

Date 1997-2005 Coronel Arias School N31. Huacalera
Date 2006-2011. Polimodal nº6 Huacalera.
Date 2012-2015. English teachers. IES N2 Humahuaca. Incomplete
Date March-December 2012 Preceptor. Institute of Support and University Training.
San Salvador, Jujuy Independencia 665.
Date May- December 2019 Business improvement. MINKA San Institute
Salvador de Jujuy.

Work experience
June 2014-2015. Receptionist. Hotel Huacalera Ruta 9 km 1790, Huacalera
March 2016-2019 Founder and Coordinator of the QENQO Artisan network. Huacalera,Jujuy
March to December 2017. Secretary of Tourism Jujuy. Trainer Teacher in Crafts
in llama fiber in three communities in the Province of Jujuy. Lagunillas Del Farallón, Cusi Cusi and Ciénega de Paicone Jujuy.
March-December 2019 Ley Ovina, Trainer Teacher in Crafts in flame fiber.
Ciénega de Paicone Jujuy.
Date: June_ December 2019 Argentine Artisan Program, Teaching Collaborator
Trainer in Crafts in llama fiber in two communities of the Province of
Jujuy. Santa Ana and Caspala, Jujuy.

Awards and honours
November / 2017 Prize for knowledge in traditional textile art awarded by
Traditional Craft Market of Argentina (MATRA) and the Saddlebag Association, with a
scholarship to represent in the international congress called TINKUY Cuzco, Peru
as a reference and exhibitor.
September / 2019 Selected as one of the 10 designers to represent the
province of Jujuy at the PURO DISEÑO 2019 CABA fair, curated by BENITO
October / 2019 Award for the BEST SOCIAL PROJECT 2019 awarded by the institutions
MINKA and VIVA IDEA. With a scholarship for the LIVE WORKSHOP in Costa Rica 2020.
Training in financial studies for Social entrepreneurs for emerging markets.