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Conference Schedule
2020 Schedule of Events

Date: Friday, September 25, 2020
Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Zoom

Facilitated by: Lisa Nasson, Melanie Sappier and host, Denise Bolduc
Friday, September 25, 11:00am to 1:00pm ADT.


Family, home, histories, and a shared worldview of the Wabanaki (People of the Dawn land) are interconnected in the stories and creativity of these two artists.  

Join the conversation with Lisa Nasson, Melanie Sappier and host, Denise Bolduc


Lisa Nasson is a Mi’kmaq actor, Director and Storyteller from Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia. She studied Acting and Theatre at George Brown College in Toronto, and Classical Theatre with the Birmingham Conservatory at the Stratford Festival. Lisa was also the Associate Artistic Director at Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto in 2018/2019 along side Artistic Director, Actor, Director and Playwright, Keith Barker. Lisa is also an Arts Educator for young people, where she has taught at the Neptune Theatre School in Halifax, and the Young Peoples Theatre in Toronto. Lisa has premiered her work of writing in Rings Through Water, a production with Xara Choral Theatre, where she was nominated for a Halifax Merit Award. She has spent the majority of her career touring as an actor all over Turtle Island, and has made it her mission to represent Indigenous voices through the arts.


Samaqani Cocahq-(Natalie Sappier) is a Wolastoqiyik Indigenous multidisciplinary  storyteller from Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick.  She began her arts practice as a painter. Painting is what awakened her healing journey, reconnecting to the land the learning ancestral teachings and became the core of developing her stories. She realized early in her painting career that she was not painting just for herself, but she was painting for her people- She is painting for her ancestors-She is painting for healing.

In these present time she feels her stories need to be heard louder than a painting can speak and is on a journey of expressing through anyway the story needs to be heard-Visual Arts, Writings, Songs, Spoken word, Movement and Dance with most of her the stories being collaborated with her Wabanaki Sisters and Brothers. For her, creating story is a Indigenous way of being and teaching.

She has written and composed her first play Finding Wolastoq Voice that has toured on National Stages and she is currently developing a series of shorts plays titled Stories of Maw.

Who is MAW?

Maw is magical being that can be anyone at any time. Maw can be a woman. Maw be a man. Maw can be two-spirited. Young or Old.  Maw has an animalistic spirit. Maws roots are made of blood, earth and stars.  Maw travels through time.

The first short play “Stories of Maw: The one time Maw was born from Tall Tree Woman” was presented at Native Earth Wesssageechak Festival in 2019.

Aside from her own artistic practice, Samaqani dedicates much of her time in the advocacy of the arts, culture, wellness and mentorship for Indigenous artists and participates in numerous collaborations of diverse circles that focus on community initiative’s and projects.

She is currently University of New Brunswick’s-Namkomacomit - ancestral storyteller that carries the vision forward as well as an artist in residence at Theatre New Brunswick developing her new work Stories of Maw.

Denise Bolduc curates, programs and produces platforms inspiring creative experiences, exchange, awareness and engagement.  As a seasonal program curator and producer with Luminato, her work includes:  Biziindan! (Concert 2019), Tributaries (2017, Festival Opening), Illuminating works (2017-2020), and Luminato Festival Toronto: Virtual (Associate Curator 2020).   Other notable programming:  Global First Nations Exchange (APAM Australia 2019), Transforming Landscapes and Intersections of Cultures and various other programming (2017 - 2019 CAPACOA), Beyond 150 Years: An Acknowledgement of Indigenous Film (REEL Canada) and Maadaadizi/Summer Journeys (PanAM Games).

Denise was the founding Artistic Director & Producer of the Planet IndigenUs Festival (Harbourfront Centre & Woodland Cultural Centre), the Indigenous Arts Program Officer (Ontario Arts Council), the Indigenous Dance and Music Officer (Canada Council for the Arts), and Co-Founder & Artistic Director of the Aboriginal Music Project.  She is an instructor, mentor, speaker, host, consultant/advisor; a member of numerous boards and advisories; and partners on many creative projects with numerous organizations. Some of her  present projects include Story Consultant on the film Reclaim My Skin, Writer/Editorial Member, on the anthology, Indigenous Toronto:  Stories That Carry This Place , and curatorial associate, programming  multiple initiatives with Luminato.   Denise is the recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Indigenous Arts Award, Australia’s SOLID Festival’s Arts Leadership Award, Toronto’s Indigenous Business Leadership Award, and an ISPA Fellow.

Denise is French, Ojibwe-Anishinaabe from the Robinson Huron Treaty Territory, and a member of the Batchewana First Nation with familial ties in Garden River First Nation.  

Please note all times are Atlantic Daylight Time.

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