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Evergreen Welcomes First Elder in Residence, Wyandot Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ (Coming Day) utrihǫt (FaithKeeper) ~

date:žátǫⁿgyaˀwiš hatiyerunǫˀ (People of the Little/Spotted Turtle)

Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine brings with her decades of experience as a multidisciplinary artist. She is an active language learner and supporter and facilitator of cultural learning for all Indigenous Peoples.

Evergreen is honoured to welcome its first Elder in Residence, Wyandot Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine Tammaro, from the Wyandot of Anderdon Nation, which is part of the Wendat Confederacy.

Evergreen is excited to introduce Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine who, as our Resident Elder, will offer guidance and direction for Evergreen around cultural protocols, relationship-building, and provide support broadly across Evergreen’s programs. She will support in guiding Evergreen to ensure Indigenous protocols, approaches and relations are acknowledged and met; celebrated and integrated.

Evergreen Elder in Residence

As a settler organization, Evergreen is committed to collaborating with Indigenous communities to build a shared understanding and transform urban spaces, in honour of, and alignment with, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action, the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the values and protocols of the Indigenous partners and communities who we engage with.

Evergreen is aware of the persistent colonial legacies and power inequities within city building and is taking an active role to repair and right our relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations. With Elder Catherine, Evergreen is undergoing a dedicated process of learning from, naturalizing and instilling Indigenous worldviews, making them evident in order to transform spaces and places at the Evergreen Brick Works site as well as organizational attitudes and practices.

Elders hold specialized cultural, spiritual, ceremonial knowledge and life experience. They are highly respected and honoured members of diverse Indigenous communities. Evergreen is deeply appreciative of, and celebrates the contributions of, Elders to our community, and to communities across Canada.

The Elder in Residence role is deeply symbolic and functional in terms of activating the values of respect and reciprocity, which are foundational to the relationships Evergreen holds with Indigenous partners and communities.

Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine has a deep knowledge and understanding of the local landscape, which she brings to her work in helping to build community at Evergreen Brick Works, foster a safe and inclusive space, celebrate Indigenous placekeeping and further Indigenize the site.

Her work will also address the lack of safe and inclusive spaces in the city for Indigenous community members, placekeepers, educators and artists; create welcoming spaces and programs to support emerging artists, educators and community members, and create opportunities for the community to experience and cocreate programming rooted in Indigenous artistic, ceremonial and land stewardship lifeways.

We were fortunate to have Elder Catherine write a story about the language of pot sherds and riverbanks, “Clan, Clay, Earth and Time,” which we encourage you to read.

More About Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine

Catherine Tammaro was born in Toronto and raised in Toronto and the US. She has a 50-year history of art-making, including painting, theatre, fine art, musical collaboration, photographic and written journalism, soundscape and installation, and extensive digital work and graphic design. Her multimedia works have been exhibited in both traditional and alternative gallery spaces and her written works and musical compositions have been published in various blogs and installations.

Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine has been involved in a wide array of interdisciplinary collaborations, ongoing special projects and themed exhibitions, as originator, curator, performer and exhibitor.

She has been working with the academic community and is currently involved with several projects, such as: The Daughters of Aataentsic Advisory Council, with seven other Wendat Confederacy members, The Star Collective, Walking with Our Sisters, and many others.

Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine is also Akin Studio’s premiere Indigenous Elder Artist in Residence, the Elder for the Toronto Indigenous Business Association, a visiting Elder at OCADU and Ojibiikaan, the Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Committee, and Board Member at the Toronto Arts Council and is the Chair of the Council of the Children’s Peace Theatre. She works with many agencies in Toronto and beyond, to advise and facilitate art-making and teaching workshops, as well as maintaining her own art practice regarding spiritual and ever-changing realities as they pertain to our connection to the sacred multiverse.

Elder Taǫmęˀšreˀ/Catherine is currently working on an installation at Evergreen, to be installed in September 2021 at Crawford Lake; Halton Conservation. Details and samples of her work may be found on her website.

From SacredCivics more news coming soon!

Have been working on several large scale projects of late. Lots in the works and more news coming soon!

Turtle Power! Digital Illustration revisited Tammaro 2021©

Toronto Arts Council Appointment and Indigenous Projects Grant Awarded

Very Happy News! I am deeply honoured to have been invited to join the Toronto Arts Council Board as the Chair of the Indigenous Arts Committee. I am tremendously excited about this new position and anticipate working with determination and delight, in helping to support the TAC and the many extraordinarily talented Indigenous artists in the City of Toronto!

I would also like to extend my most heartfelt thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for their support, in being awarded a grant to continue working toward my installation at Crawford Lake in June, 2021.

The installation at Crawford Lake ~ Working Title: The Daughters of Aataentsic, is also supported by the exemplary ally Dr. Kathryn Labelle, Associate Professor – History Department, University of Saskatchewan through the SSHRC (Social Science and Humanities Research Council) and the most wonderful settler accomplice, Mrs. Brenna Bartley ~ Education & Programs Manager for Conservation Halton ~ at Crawford Lake Conservation Area.

We will be celebrating the publishing of Dr Labelle’s book of the same title, at the opening reception honouring seven significant Wendat and Wyandot Women in our collective herstory.

I could not do this work without the support and aid of my Wendat and Wyandot co ~ conspirators on Dr. Labelle’s Daughters of Aataentsic Advisory Council, particularly Sallie Cotter Andrews, Deer Clan FaithKeeper, Historian and beautiful human; (Wyandotte Nation, Oklahoma) – and Ms. Linda Sioui, Bear Clan ~ Anthropologist, (Wendake) yet another beautiful human ~ and all of my beloved sisters from across The Wendat Confederacy.

Heartfelt thanks to Richard Zane Smith, Bear Clan ~ Wyandot Speaker and artist/cultural activist (Wyandot Nation of Kansas) and Dr. Craig Kopris, Linguist extraordinaire for all of their stellar assistance. I am so grateful for their kindness and wisdom, which supports me in deep and abiding ways…. culture and language ~ inseparable and necessary! I offer deep gratitude to the Ancestors, the land and waters and all my kin in the natural world ~ and the vast multiverse for my inspiration, direction and spiritual sustenance.

I look very much forward to the next year of work in the arts, in all of my positions of responsibility, in this incredible Dish With One Spoon territory, which
I love so very dearly.

sakahkwah šra:wíʔ ! Look up! – (to the stars)…
tižamęh, tiawenhk, thank you!
Catherine Tammaro
People of the Little TurtleWyandot of Anderdon Nation ~ Wendat Confederacy
Thanks to the Daughters of Aataentsic, my Sister Wyandot Women and FaithKeepers.

Thanks to all the lovely Elders from many nations for ongoing support and teachings.