Series of lectures and online meetings with representatives of indigenous cultures from the Northwest Coast of Canada

On behalf of Profesor Eugenia Sojka it is our pleasure to extend this invitation to a series of lectures and online meetings with representatives of indigenous cultures from the Northwest Coast of Canada. The meetings will be held on Zoom and everyone’s welcome to attend!

From 30 November to 20 December 2023, you can participate in online meetings on the Zoom platform with representatives of indigenous cultures from the Northwest Coast of Canada. The lectures will be delivered by Mique’l Dangeli, PhD (Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska) and Andy Wilson (Haida Nation) from British Columbia, Canada, who have accepted the invitation of Prof. Eugenia Sojka and the Trans-Indigena Research Team. International Studies of Artistic Expressions of Local and Indigenous Cultures and Cultural Minorities, from the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Silesia.

Lectures by Dr. Mique’l Dangeli and Andy Wilson will focus on the Indigenous cultures of Canada’s Northwest Coast and the Haida Gwaii archipelago, with particular emphasis on the decolonial history of these regions and cultural sovereignty. They will discuss Indigenous performing and visual arts as alternative forms of reclaiming and transmitting knowledge.

Both events foreground the importance of Indigenous Humanities in the contemporary world – Engaged and Transformative Humanities – that promote holistic approaches and respect alternative ways of knowing. The lectures also aim to encourage self-critical transcultural reflection and positive valorization of the heritage of one’s own local culture.

Schedule of lectures (click on the title for more information)

Lectures by Miquel Dangeli, PhD

Lectures by Andy Wilson

Mique’l Dangeli, PhD

Born and raised on the Annette Island Indian Reserve, Mique’l Dangeli is of the Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Arts at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Mique’l is a dancer, choreographer, and curator. Her work focuses on Indigenous performing arts, photography, resurgence, sovereignty, protocol, decolonization, and language revitalization. Through her scholarship she coined the phrase “dancing sovereignty” to describe the ways in which Indigenous dance artists on the Northwest Coast assert, negotiate, and enact protocol during their process of creating new works, collaborations, and performances.

Her in-depth study demonstrated that these complex and political creative processes are Indigenous practices of sovereignty that assert and affirm land rights, epistemologies, and hereditary privileges among diverse audiences and collaborators. As one of the youngest advanced speakers and teachers of Sm’algya̱x, she is dedicated to curriculum development, teaching her people’s language in community-based and university-accredited classes, as well as mentoring learners and educational staff in their process of language acquisition and the creation of pre-K to high school curricula and programs. 

Her language revitalisation work is foundational to her artistic practice with her family’s dance group – The Git Hayetsk Dancers. Since 2003, Mique’l and her husband, artist and carver Mike Dangeli (Nisga’a Nation), have led the Git Hayetsk Dancers, an internationally renowned Northwest Coast First Nations dance group specialising in ancient and newly created songs and mask dances. Her work with the Git Hayetsk has been featured at the Gibney Dance Center in New York, the National Art Centre in Ottawa, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, and many other major institutions. In 2003, she was an international dance artist-in-residence with Marrugeku, one of Australia’s most critically acclaimed Indigenous and Intercultural dance companies. While in Gadigal Country (also known as Sydney), she was also a scholar-residence at the Powerhouse Museum where she focused on the dance history of the First Nations collections.

Andy Wilson

Born into a large family in the Haida village of Skidegate, son of Chief Skedans. From early on, Haida values and culture shaped the person he is today. Aside from some years spent away in high school and college, Andy Wilson has lived his life in his ancestral homeland, Haida Gwaii, a hauntingly beautiful archipelago of islands rich in natural and cultural history. Over his lifetime, he has witnessed and played an instrumental role in the revitalization of Haida culture and art. Since its inception in the 1970s, he has been a part of the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program: a program that was initiated to protect cultural significant areas in old village sites from looting and misuse. Today these sites fall within the boundaries of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve & Haida Heritage Site and the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Program continues to safeguard its natural and cultural heritage. Cedar canoes remain integral to the Haida culture and since the crafting of Bill Reid’s 50-ft Loo Taa in the late 80’s, AndyWilson participated in 3 epic canoe voyages: a three week voyage from Vancouver to Haida Gwaii, from Haida Gwaii to Hydaburg, Alaska, and a week-long sojourn down the Seine River in France.

He has become known around the world for his bentwood boxes and for his efforts in repatriating Haida ancestors from museums around the world. To date, the Haida Repatriation Committee has successfully repatriated over 500 human remains from museums, universities and private collections all over Canada and the United States. This enormous undertaking required thousands of volunteer hours, the hard work of a dedicated group of individuals and a lot of fundraising. Upon their return home, the ancestral remains were buried in cedar bentwood boxes. The art of making these boxes had been lost over the years and Andy Wilson took on the task of learning the traditional method as well as creating new ways of doing things. Over the past years, he has made hundreds of boxes for his kuniisii, his Haida ancestors, which is a real tribute to Haida people. Andy Wilson is highly regarded as a cultural mediator and Haida cultural ambassador, lecturing at universities and conferences in Canada, USA and Europe. He gave many lectures about his experiences with repatriation in Canada and the USA. He is also a cultural interpreter to film crews, dignitaries, government officials and academics who visit his home.