2021-2022 ArtistsInspire & Mikw Chiyâm Program Collaboration

Over the last six years, ELAN ArtEd has been thrilled to collaborate with inPath and the Cree School Board’s Mikw Chiyâm Program. The Mikw Chiyâm program is a Cree School Board program designed and implemented in collaboration with inPath. This full-year, credit-bearing program includes three 4 or 6-week teaching-residencies integrated into the school’s curriculum. In collaboration with the Mikw Chiyâm teacher, residencies are led by inPath artists, often with the support of local artists and knowledge keepers who guide students in developing individual and collective creative works. All of our programs culminate with end-of-residency celebrations held to honor and share students’ work with their families and communities. For more background on the project, see this 2020-21 Stories & News article.

Many of the inPath artists also engage with the ArtistsInspire program. This year’s partnership gave us the opportunity to work alongside local Cree artists in a more engaged and sustained way within the 2021-2022 Mikw Chiyâm Programming.

2021-2022 ArtistsInspire & Mikw Chiyâm Program Collaboration

The COVID-19 pandemic once again restricted movement in and out of schools, which impacted the amount of local artist placements we were able to make in the 2021/22 school year. To adhere to these restrictions, instead of placing many local artists for short term placements, 4 local artists from Eeyou Istchee completed long term artist placements, with 2 artists offering shorter workshops. ELAN placements took place in 6 different schools in the Cree School Board. The teachers who utilized ELAN funds reported being extremely satisfied with local artist placements.

ELAN placements took place at the following schools:

  • James Bay Eeyou School in Chisasibi
  • Wabannutao Eeyou School in Eastmain
  • Luke Mettaweskum School in Nemaska
  • Badabin Eeyou School in Whapmagoostui
  • Wiinibekuu School in Waskaganish
  • Willie J. Happyjack Memorial School in Waswanipi

James Bay Eeyou School – Chisasibi

Artist: Franklin Moar (Vangorian)
Art Medium: Beatmaking and Music Production
Number of Students: 76
Project Description: Franklin Moar joined the Mikw Chiyâm classroom to introduce students to beat making and music production. He completed multiple workshops over a 3 week course at the end of the school year.
Teacher: Chris Robertson

Wabannutao Eeyou School – Eastmain

Artist: Jossée Bernier
Art Medium: Songwriting & music production and multimedia visual art
Guiding Question: How did I make it this far / How do I keep going?
Number of Students: 44
Placement Description: Multi-disciplinary artist Jossée Bernier completed a residency with Ila Barker in Eastmain, where students completed visual art pieces and participated in songwriting & recording activities in response to the guiding question.
Teacher: Melisa Wiliams

Luke Mettaweskum School – Nemaska

Artist: Lindy Moar
Art Medium: Spoken Word & Storytelling
Guiding Question: What are the stories we are hungry for?
Number of Students: 19
Placement Description: Lindy Moar, a local knowledge keeper and storyteller, joined Whitney French’s residency in Nemaska for a storytelling workshop. This tied into the broader residency where students responded to a variety of story prompts, games, and activities and then created visual representations in a three-dimensional diorama using plasticine, felt, cardboard, etc.
Teacher: Lylyane Lamothe

École Wiinibekuu School – Waskaganish

Artist: Josephine Diamond
Art Medium: Multimedia
Number of Students: 24
Placement Description: Visual artist, Josephine Diamond completed a long term placement in the classroom in Waskaganish, collaborating with all 3 Mikw Chiyâm residency artists and supporting students throughout the school year.
Teacher: Rupen Parmar

Willie J. Happyjack Memorial School – Waswanipi

Artist: Franklin Moar (Vangorian)
Art Medium: Beatmaking & Music Production
Guiding Question: What’s your personal rhythm?
Number of Students: 51
Placement Description: Franklin Moar completed a long-term placement where students answered the guiding question by working on individual sound projects, including through experimentation with LogicPro, FL Studio, and GarageBand. They also created beats and instrumental music, with the option of adding vocal elements.
Teacher: Lisette Costanzo

Willie J. Happyjack Memorial School – Waswanipi

Artist: James Dixon
Art Medium: Canvas painting
Guiding Question: Where do you see yourself helping/being part of your community?
Number of Students: 51
Project Description: In conjunction with Peatr Thomas and Grayden Vanden Heuval’s Mikw Chiyâm residency, local artist James Dixon offered a workshop where students learned to build and stretch their own canvases. Students then painted on teepee shaped canvases that were showcased in areas throughout the school.
Teacher: Lisette Costanzo

Badabin Eeyou School – Whapmagoostui

Artist: Christian Monias
Art Medium: Music & sound production
Guiding Question: What sounds do you feel?
Number of Students: 75
Placement Description: Local artist Christian Monias joined the Whapmagoostui classroom for a long term placement. During this placement, students created their own beats using loops as lego blocks to create patterns and build the students’ confidence in music production. Some students experimented with lyric writing as well as recording and mixing their own sounds.
Teacher: Danyelle Orwick
Student artwork in response to the guiding questions ‘How did I make it this far / How do I keep going?’, during Jossée Bernier’s placement in Wabannutao Eeyou School