The Climate Art Web works in close relationship with a group of Indigenous artists and knowledge keepers from across northern Turtle Island. From its inception, the Climate Art Web has developed with specific decolonizing aims, including the aim of honouring and learning from Indigenous ways of knowing. As CAW-WAC has grown, we have continued to work with an Indigenous Focus Group of five members. These members – which include Chantal Stormsong Chagnon, Sandra Lamouche, Cole Alvis, Starr Muranko and Jacob Crane – are artists, educators and/or knowledge keepers within their various communities. As a network whose ethics are based on developing relationality as well as being held accountable to the Indigenous communities of the lands we are on, both CAW-WAC and TRAction are grateful beyond words for what these individuals offer in terms of time, knowledge and experience.
The Community Connectors act as the seed cultivators that help to grow the web. They reach out through their mycelial networks and bring others into the circle — connecting eco-art projects and artists across northern Turtle Island/Canada. Below are the Community Connectors who are tending the web:
Mayhumi is a Japanese Canadian settler in Tkaronto who seeks to expose, challenge, and rectify systems of oppression by creating innovative, introspective and inclusive dance theatre. She sees embodiment as at the crux of world making, providing alternatives to unconscious thought, consumerism and oppression. Her primary practices span performance, choreography, education and Artistic Direction. Mayumi is the Co-Artistic Director of Hamilton based Aeris Körper, a facilitator of Dreamwalker Dance’s Conscious Bodies methodology, and the Communications and Outreach Manager for the Canadian Dance Assembly. She has been mentored by Peggy Baker, Andrea Nann and Denise Fujiwara.
Nicole Schafenacker is a writer, artist and researcher with euro-settler ancestry residing on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council also known as Whitehorse, Yukon. Her work explores body memory, liminal spaces at the threshold of change, intimate geographies, and hopeful acts/relationships between humans and place. She often works with devised practices and in collaboration with dancers, musicians and visual artists to create interdisciplinary work. She is the author of two plays, Fish at the Bottom of the Sea and 13 Encounters and a co-editor of the climate fiction anthology, Our Entangled Future. She was the first artist in residence with the Yukon Chapter of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and a member of the fourth cohort of the FUTURES/forward program at the International Centre of Art for Social Change. She has shown work across Turtle Island/Canada + the US and in Norway.
Flora Aldridge is an educator, artist, and project coordinator who is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches to climate justice. Flora hopes to deepen our connection to the natural more-than-human world through food exploration, art practice and sustainable agriculture. Through her involvement in multiple community-led projects and organizations, as well as her work as an educator within youth programs, she strives to build empowered and diverse communities working towards envisioning a better future. Flora currently works as an Outdoor Educator at Evergreen, delivering place-based children’s programming. In addition, Flora teaches No.9’s art and architecture program, Imagining My Sustainable Community. Flora serves on the Board of Directors for both Arts Education Network of Ontario and New Grocery Movement.
Jen Yakamovich is a drummer, researcher, and improviser currently living and working as a settler on Coast Salish territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Her work focuses on the relationship between sound, social ecologies, and complex embodiment. She received her Master’s in Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University in 2019. She performs under the moniker Troll Dolly.
Chantal is a Cree / Métis Singer, Drummer, Artist, Storyteller, Actor, Educator, Workshop Facilitator, Social Justice Advocate and Activist with roots in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. She shares Traditional Indigenous Songs, Stories, Culture, History, Arts, Indigenous Craftsmanship and Teachings. Chantal has presented in Classrooms from Preschool through University and Professional, Community, and Social Justice Events and Gatherings. Chantal aims to entertain, engage, enlighten, educate, and inspire everyone she meets.
Melanie (MFA, PhD) is a settler performance maker, scholar and educator based in Treaty 7 territory (Moh’kinsstis/Calgary). Director of the dance theatre company kloetzel&co., and co-director of the art intervention collective TRAction, Kloetzel’s research work spans stage, site and screen. Employing practice-as-research methodologies, Kloetzel develops events, workshops and encounters in theatre spaces, alternative venues, spaces of public assembly, and online environments. Kloetzel is Professor of Dance at the University of Calgary.
Kevin Jesuino is a Portuguese-Canadian multi-disciplinary performer, performing arts educator, movement coach, arts facilitator, LGBTQ+ activist and community organizer. His work is oftentimes collaborative, site-specific, participatory, and process-oriented. His practice explores relationality, the stories within our bodies, and the queer joy of uncertainty. He draws from research in queer performance, ecology/biology, somatics, social art practices and site adaptive/responsive performance. His community-embedded projects engage participants in performative actions, discussions, creative interventions, activations, and other forms of organizing.