Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth
Sheri Osden Nault, Marta Croll-Baehre, Kay Nadjiwon
Wednesday, July 5, 4pm - 6pm
Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth is a community-based initiative led by Two-Spirit Michif artist, Sheri Osden Nault, and supported by a fluctuating network of collaborators and volunteers. Started in 2020 in response to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the ongoing crises of suicide facing both queer and Indigenous youth, Gifts for Two Spirit Youth sends gift-bundles as offerings of joy, resilience and community care to 2S Youth in the late winter. Every year the project continues to evolve; cementing relationships with new supporters and collaborators, and reaching more youth.
For this symposium, Sheri, Marta Croll-Baehre, and Kay Nadjiwon will discuss the values, origins, and impetus behind the grassroots initiative Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth. The discussion will incorporate a hands-on workshop where participants are invited to assemble zines with messages of care that will be part of future gift bundles.
Sheri Osden Nault is an artist, community worker, and Assistant Professor in Studio Arts at the University of Western Ontario. Their work spans mediums including sculpture, performance, installation, and more; integrating cultural, social, and experimental creative processes. Their work considers embodied connections between human and non-human beings, land-based relationships, and kinship sensibilities as an Indigenous Futurist framework. Their research is grounded in their experiences as Michif, nêhiyaw, and Two-Spirit, and engages with decolonizing methodologies, queer theory, ecological theory, and intersectional and Indigenous feminisms. They are a member of the Indigenous tattoo revival movement in so-called Canada, and run the annual community project, Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth. To learn more visit the 2Spirit Gifts webpage.
Kay Nadjiwon is a two-spirit Anishinaabe lens-based artist working in Treaty 13. Their artistic practice focuses on issues of identity, memory, trauma and belonging. Nadjiwon uses archival materials, alternative processes and interdisciplinary methods to situate feelings of grief as a site for social and spiritual connection. Their practice includes photography, video, collage and installation.
Marta Maxwell Croll-Baehre is a white settler artist, writer, and educator originally from Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, NL). Their cross-disciplinary scholarly and creative practices centre questions of identity and embodiment, space and place, animacies and hauntings. They are a fourth-year PhD candidate in the English and Cultural Studies program at McMaster University, and a volunteer with Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth, an annual project run by Sheri Osden Nault.