Category Archives: Publications

Articles or publications that I have written or have been written about me.

39th Canadian Art Therapy Association Conference

“Mending what is broken between us” was the title of the 39th Canadian Art Therapy Association Conference held at Concordia University this past October, where over 250 art therapists and allies from across Canada attended to share their knowledge and practice within the field, from research on certain intervention strategies to the ways the profession is carried through different populations.

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Pop-up art hive at Concordia university. Photo by: Caroline Campeau

Art therapy, in a nutshell, is a form of expressive therapy that combines psychological knowledge with art media knowledge to tailor services for individuals to work through their challenges in visual and often non-verbal means. As many of us may know, talking about what makes us afraid or hurt can be difficult and art can often be a way of expressing what cannot be said. The creative process, in this manner, is a place to deconstruct and reconstruct the self or an experience on both a psychological level and through the materials themselves in often surprising symbolic ways.

The role of the art therapist is to guide these individuals through their internal and creative processes using their extensive knowledge of psychological development, disorders, cognitive and affective functioning as well as a grounded knowing in how to use art media to reach psychological goals. Art therapy as a practice is thus as diverse as the colors on a pallet in the ways that it can be used, which is what tickled my curiosity as a new art therapist.

In working with Indigenous children within the school system as well as Indigenous male inmates at medium security prison, I was curious about the ways innovators were using art to create both personal and social change within the needs of Indigenous populations. Including sharing my own perspective through the presentation of my research, where I explored how multigenerational trauma impacts the identity development of Indigenous people.

Or in other words, how colonization affects how we see ourselves.

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I conducted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as presented my research. Photo by: Caroline Campeau

I found, through art material, that we exist on a spectrum of Indigenaiety (similar to acculturation in the psychology fields). This means that parts of us both accept and reject our own culture as well as the culture of on the outside because of the shame or fear or feeling not good enough (or native enough) we inherited from residential schools, family upbringing or being on a wrong side of a stereotype. Many of us have been there because many of us do not look like Pocahontas and many of us also like going to the movies, driving a car or going to university in a colonized institution.

So how we meet in the middle was what I wanted to explore.

The research I then presented was on how art materials and the creative process can act as the meeting ground for all those parts of the selves to coexist. Art-making can be the way that we can embrace two ways of knowing.

This concept, whether by chance or through social change, became the theme of “mending what is broken between us” not just in terms of our own personal struggles, but as a dialogue around reconciliation. I met with other indigenous art therapists across Canada to create a circle and dialogue that can work towards decolonizing our practice so that Indigenous people have a culturally safe place to explore themselves and have access to culturally appropriate tools—tools that may blend therapy techniques with cultural knowledge.

But decolonization rarely occurs on just one level; it has to be all levels and in this sense also involves creating a space within the profession to educate others on the impacts of multigenerational trauma and colonization on wellness so that relationships can be built to better service communities. This entails changing curriculum in our programs and educating service providers, policy makers, associations and orders and others.

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Building framework for decolonizing the art therapy profession. Photo by: Caroline Campeau

Through building a community of Indigenous art therapists and allies, we are taking the steps to make change and by using our gifts of blending the creative process with psychology to “mend what was broken between us”.

 

 

 

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Still Dancing

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Last week, I was invited to sit on a panel to support an Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls alongside Dr. Dawn Lavell Harvard, (President, Native Women’s Association of Canada), Delilah Saunders (sister of Loretta Saunders), Gladys Radek (aunt of Tamara Lynn Chipman and founder of Tears4Justice) and Matt Smiley (director of the film, Highway of Tears).

After viewing Smiley’s film, we discussed the implications of an Inquiry, underlying factors as well as the reflection of the actions in Val D’or Quebec. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/val-dor-police-aboriginal-women-march-1.3287744).

While other panelists spoke of personal experience as well as legislative action, I brought a youth and grassroots activist perspective. I talked about how stereotypes and the reinforcement of them contribute to systemic violence; I provided ways in which everyone can contribute when legislative means are not accessible, including art submissions, letter writing to Halloween stores and learning history from the people.

We acknowledge that our women are girls are not born at risk, they are put at risk by a system (government, foster care, education) that continues to run along the assimilation stream. While it is true that residential schools have closed and women no longer lose their status by leaving the community, other methods have developed from environmental violence, lack of nation-to-nation discussion, poor education and inadequate funding.

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Interview for APTN: Art in Action Making National News!

Interview for APTN: Art in Action Making National News!

On June 24th 2013, I was interviewed for APTN’s six o’clock news on the topic of Idle No More: Art in Action. As the curator of an exhibition that featured eleven artists from across Canada and the United states, it was truly an honor to be recognized on a national level.

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Idle No More: Art In Action

Idle No More: Art In Action

If anyone is in the Montreal, Quebec area, come on out to Kahnawake’s Cultural center to view the Kahnawake Youth Forum’s exhibition of works from across Canada and the United States.

Exhibition runs from June 20th to July 25th.

Link

The OrigiNative Journal

The OrigiNative Journal

The OrigiNative Journal is now live!

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OrigiNative Journal

OrigiNative Journal

Developing the first youth journal that connects the Akwesasne and Kahnawake communities, discussing issues of the growing Native identity

Link

InARTE Journal: Visual Art and Thought from Concordia University Undergraduates in Art Education

InARTE Journal (Website)

For the 2011-2012 school year, I was selected as the undergraduate editor for Concordia University’s InARTE Journal.

Excerpt from my editorial:

“The idea that language can be multifaceted and individualized to both the learner and the educator helped to formulate the theme for the second issue of the InARTE JournalThe one hundred languages of Art Education. Over the course of the 2011-2012 school year, our team of editors worked to extend the concept of multiple languages from the realm of early childhood education to the realm of art education for learners of all ages. Each page of the journal has been framed to reflect the individual journeys of art educators as they discover their languages and roles as artists, educators, and researchers in the growing field of art education. As the lead editor of the second installment, I have grown to cherish and value the InARTE Journal as a forum for art educators to showcase their unique languages of art education, creating a community of passionate people who can think and create outside of the box of education. After all, we are the educators who take pride in being a horse of a different color and an artist who paints without a brush.”