Exploring the Treaty Relationship

Michelle Sylliboy (Mi’kmaw/L’nu), Leigh Gillam (settler), Jessica Mensch (settler), and Antoinette Karuna's (Tamil Sri Lankan/French Canadian settler) collaborative project interprets the Treaty Relationship as a liminal space of creation. Using the L’nuk/Mi’kmaw Komqwejwi’kasikl language, they created a hieroglyphic poem, which they then animated into a short film.

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Jessica Mensch (she/her) is a settler interdisciplinary artist. Her work straddles painting, animation, video, music, stage design, and installation, inviting contemplation between these spheres of production and the position of women within them. Mensch received her BFA from NSCAD and her MFA from Hunter College. She currently teaches at St FX.

Jessica Mensch & Michelle Sylliboy & Leigh Gillam &
Antoinette Karuna

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Michelle Sylliboy is a Two-Spirited L'nu/ Mi'kmaw artist from We'koqmaq, Cape Breton. She is an assistant professor at St. Francis Xavier University and is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Simon Fraser University. Her dissertation combines her artistic background and education by writing about her Mi'kmaq Komqwejwi'kasikl (Hieroglyphic) living curriculum. 

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Leigh Gillam teaches Animation and Visual Arts courses at St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia. Gillam’s practice is interdisciplinary: she likes to draw, paint, and involve others in storytelling. She has a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

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Antoinette Karuna (she/her) works primarily in textiles, drawing, and film. Her work has shown widely, including at the Toronto Intl Film Festival and the Khyber Centre for the Arts. Tamil through her father and French Canadian through her mother, Karuna is currently pursuing a creative inquiry into the complexities of biracial identity during her MFA in Visual Arts at Memorial University.