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.