November 12, 2022


Session 3

The role of Indigenous craft practice in shaping our relation to the world(s) around us

Jack Theis

Photo courtesy of Jack Theis


Craft practice plays an integral role in translating and disseminating Indigenous knowledge between the past, present and future. Stories, teachings and worldviews are embodied within material objects, adornment styles and innovative techniques that give us an understanding of our world(s) and the individual and collective responsibilities we have to various kinship relations (both human and more-than-human). Through critical dialogue and conversation, this panel challenges normative Western perspectives of craft by looking toward historical and contemporary examples of Indigenous craft practice that offer alternative ways of thinking about craft as it relates to community, family, and kinship, alongside Indigenous notions of gender identity and gender roles. 

About Jack Theis

Jack Theis is Anishinaabe-Michif from the Bottineau family and a citizen of the Manitoba Métis Federation. He is a bookseller at Birchbark Books & Native Arts in Minneapolis, on occupied Dakota land. Theis grew up in fashion but gravitated more towards classical drawing and painting. His appreciation for fashion was particularly in textiles and embroideries — his study of beadwork was a means to connect with his ancestors and his peoples. He majored in Native Studies and minored in Native languages. He is planning to do a Ph.D. to research and write about various topics, among them Anishinaabe and Métis fashion histories. Outside of academia, Theis also hopes to continue working in Indigenous film, mainly through historical consulting and by helping to produce Anishinaabe and Métis period costumes. His ultimate cinematic goal is to work on a remake of the 1979 Canadian drama Riel, but to get it right this time.   

About Katherine Boyer

Katherine Boyer (Métis/white Settler) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on methods bound to textile arts and the handmade, primarily woodworking and beadwork. Boyer’s art and research encompass personal family narratives entwined with Métis history, material culture, and architectural spaces (human-made and natural). Her work often explores boundaries between two opposing things to understand both sides of perceived dichotomous identity better. This manifests in long, slow and considerate laborious processes that attempt to unravel and better understand history, environmental influences and personal memories.   

Boyer has received a BFA from the University of Regina (Sculpture + Printmaking) and an MFA at the University of Manitoba. She currently holds a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba School of Art. 

About Justine Woods – Moderator

Justine Woods is a garment artist, designer, creative scholar and educator based in Toronto, Ontario. She is currently a doctoral student in the Media and Design Innovation Ph.D. program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She holds a Master of Design from OCAD University and a Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design from Toronto Metropolitan University. Woods’ research and design practice centres on fashion and garment-making as practice-based methods of inquiry towards re-stitching alternative worlds that prioritize, celebrate and mobilize Indigenous resurgence. Her work prioritizes all relationships that make up her identity as a Penetanguishene Aabitaawikwe / Halfbreed. Woods was born and raised in Tiny, Ontario and is a member of what is presently known as the Georgian Bay Métis Community. 

Access Info

If you require wheelchair or accessible seating, please contact our Box Office ahead of time at or phone (416) 973-4000, Option 1 – Wednesday–Friday from 1-5pm.

Dates & Times

November 12
2:35pm – 3:35pm


Fleck Dance Theatre in Queen's Quay Terminal

207 Queens Quay West, 3rd Floor
Follow signs and take escalator or elevator

Google Map


Purchase of 1 symposium pass gives you access to all Shifting Ground Symposium events over the 2 day period.

Keywords Public ArtTalk/Storytelling