Episode 23 Kids These Days_Trépanier, Fung, Kamboureli

Jul 17, 2021

Welcome to the final podcast from our Wisdom Council series! This discussion was recorded during a TIA House symposium in September 2019. Wisdom Council brought together a small council of senior practitioners in the arts, who are mostly Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, to sit in council over three days to discuss such topics as what our communities need now; memory and forgetting; care of elders in racialized communities; community formations they’ve experienced; and practices and strategies that might be of use or interest in the present moment. This discussion was recorded as part of the gathering’s work.


France Trépanier is an artist and curator of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in many venues in Canada, the US and Europe. France was the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space Arts Society in Victoria BC, and she is co-director of the Primary Colours initiative, which seeks to place Indigenous arts at the centre of the Canadian arts system.

Richard Fung is a video artist, cultural critic, and Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Much of his work deals with the legacy of colonialism in his birthplace of Trinidad and Tobago, Asian diaspora, and the intersection of race, gender, and queer sexuality.

Smaro Kamboureli is Avie Bennett Chair in Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include CanLit as a disciplinary formation and diaspora and Indigenous studies.


Speaker 1: France Trépanier

3:35 – Reaction to the panel Kids These Days: Strategies and Practices to Carry Forward

4:35 – Travels to Alert Bay, working on a curatorial project Dreaming the Land

5:50 – Experiencing a dance group performance by the T’sasała Cultural Group

9:45 – Pedagogy in the Indigenous Studies Program at Camosun College

12:45 – Indigenous Emerging Artists Program, started at Open Space by Peter Morin and Sarah Hunt, with visiting artists including James Luna, Alanis Obomsawin, Lillian Allen and Janet Rogers

Speaker 2: Richard Fung

14:15 – Growing up in Trinidad, and people who socialize in generation-specific groups

17:55 – Spirit of entrepreneurialism in contrast with protecting an artist’s intellectual labour and time

20:10 – Encouraging students to take principles into their future work, including criticality, generosity, social justice, and responsiveness

Speaker 3: Smaro Kamboureli

22:05 – Meeting students with gaps of knowledge on important Canadian history, including Louis Riel and the Quiet Revolution

23:40 – Teaching “Ethnic and Native writing” in the 1980s-90s, working with students like and Richard Van Camp and Sarah Hunt, and a grad course on writing through race

25:00 – Coming to terms with one’s own personal discomfort and self-identification

26:25 – Differing interests in the past as an archive, and reconsidering how to teach it at undergrad and graduate levels

Part 4: Q&A with the panel and audience

28:25 – Sharing one’s discomfort as a teacher, with students, in order to personalize identity-based discussions

30:40 – Discussion on culture and modernity, industrialization, capitalism, and systems that influence certain modes of thought for those working in the academy

34:45 – University of Alberta course taught in the thirteen moon cycles

35:30 – Moving from familial cultural practices to ways queer culture and chosen ‘families’ are also based in kinship

42:25 – Reference to Richard Fung’s film Nang by Nang

46:10 – Conversation on the term “atomization” in contrast with notions of community

48:20 – The energies put towards activism, including the Montreal climate march protests (September 2019), and Idle No More as a movement, but this need to keep doing the work

1:07:40 – Closing discussion on France Trépanier’s figure of “the passeur

TIA House recognizes the generous support of the Canada Research Chairs program and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. We also appreciate the support of the Faculty of Arts and the Department of English at the University of Calgary, where our offices are housed, as well as the guidance of Marc Stoeckle at the Taylor Family Digital Library.

TIA House is run by Larissa Lai, Paul Meunier, Joshua Whitehead, Mahmoud Ababneh, Rebecca Geleyn, Aruna Srivastava, Marc Lynch, Marj Rugunda. and Ryan Stearne.

Our Intro/Outro music is Monarch of the Streets by Loyalty Freak Music, accessed from the Free Music Archive.

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