Aboriginal Gathering Place

A place to gather, reflect, practice, teach, and celebrate Aboriginal culture.

The Aboriginal Gathering Place hosts students, contemporary artists, and informs curriculum and community.

If you are an Aboriginal student, Emily Carr’s Aboriginal Gathering Place offers a student lounge, computer lab, research area, and studio space for your use, plus workshops and courses designed to reflect Aboriginal culture. Dedicated to meet the cultural needs of our strong Aboriginal community, the space embraces traditional and contemporary Aboriginal design elements in the architectural tradition of a Coast Salish longhouse.

The Aboriginal Program Office and Gathering Place is also welcoming to non-Aboriginal students and visitors and is a resource for all Emily Carr students, faculty and staff. Join us at the gathering place for art exhibits, studio projects, workshops, seminars, celebrations and feasts.

We welcome you to visit our Aboriginal Gathering Place microsite.



Cedar Basket Weaving with Brenda Crabtree: Urban Access Project, Aboriginal Gathering Place

Cedar Basket Weaving Video Chapters Prepping: Gathering and preparing materials and tools Base: The foundation for a basket always begins here Twining: A basketry technique in which two horizontal strands, or one stand folded in half, cross over each other in between the vertical strands Up-Setting the Spokes: The spokes are the foundation or base of the basket. They also continue vertically up the side of the basket. After the base of the basket is woven, the spokes are bent upwards to begin working on the sides of the basket. Weft: The horizontal weave which crosses over and under the warp strands or spokes Rim: The finished edge of the basket. - Brenda Crabtree is a master basket maker whose weaving focuses on traditional fibers such as inner cedar bark, cedar roots, spruce roots, and wool. Brenda learned this ancient art form of the Interior Stolo from her grandmother who instilled in her the techniques related to the harvesting and making of baskets. Brenda is committed to educating others about her craft and its historical traditions. Her teaching and art practice focuses on both traditional and contemporary Aboriginal materials and techniques as she also creates dyed elk hide drums. Her works are masterfully crafted and incorporate challenging text that highlight Aboriginal history. As the Aboriginal Program Manager at Emily Carr University of Art+Design she develops Aboriginal content curriculum and teaches Aboriginal art history and Aboriginal studio based courses as a sessional.  Her research includes traveling to Kuching, Malaysia, Borneo and Tuvalu. She has coordinated exhibitions and events with Moari artists and students at Emily Carr fostering cross cultural exchange. Brenda has exhibited her artwork in Pushing Boundaries; Net Eth: Going Out of the Darkness; and the Talking Stick Festival. She received her BA and MA (Cultural Anthropology) from Western Washington University. Brenda belongs to the Spuzzum Band and has both Nlaka'pamux and Sto:lo ancestry. URBAN ACCESS TO ABORIGINAL ART (URBAN ACCESS) began in 2014 and involved yearly four-week intensive art and design programs that blended studio instruction with cultural studies modules and field trips. Fifteen aboriginal participants were selected each summer to learn traditional forms of art: Carving, Drum Making, Cedar Basketry, Beadwork, Moose Hair Tufting, and Form Line design. The program included cultural studies, visual communication, guest artist talks, and field trips to galleries and museums. Videos have been made of each of these traditional forms of art to share the knowledge and cultural backgrounds of these practices and the artists. Please visit http://aboriginal.ecuad.ca/urban-access/ for more information about this project. The Urban Access Project was generously supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Ministry of Advanced Education, the Aboriginal Arts Development Awards, the Canada Council for the Arts, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, the Rona Foundation and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. The project was managed by Brenda Crabtree, the Aboriginal Program Manager, at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.





Raven Chacon: Artist Talk at the Aboriginal Gathering Place

Please note: there are unfortunately some issues with the audio Chacon’s work explores sounds of acoustic handmade instruments overdriven through electric systems and the direct and indirect audio feedback responses from their interactions. Recent and ongoing collaborations are projects with Bob Bellerue (Kilt), William Fowler Collins (Mesa Ritual), John Dieterich (Summer Assassins), Robert Henke, Thollem McDonas, and the ETHEL quartet (Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project). Chacon has presented his work in different contexts at Vancouver Art Gallery, ABC No Rio, REDCAT, Biennale of Sydney, Canyon DeChelly, Adelaide Festival, Ende Tymes Festival and The Kennedy Centre. This event is presented as a part of Imagining Our Future. Expansive, experimental and provocative, this multi-year series of events and activities explores the geographical, historical, and cultural context of our anticipated move to the False Creek Flats (Senákw). At this seminal moment in our institution's history, the program brings together practitioners from across a range of practices and fields of inquiry to ask how we imagine the art, media and design university of the 21st century. Through various platforms, the series explores the relationship between the proposed campus and the land on which it will be built, the communities that surround it, and the historical and urban context of the site, and its promise to become a central element in a new creative and cultural district in the City of Vancouver. Central to the series are the interwoven themes of pedagogy, space, indigeniety and the commons. How do the physical spaces we inhabit inform or respond to the activities performed within them? Does pedagogy drive spaces for teaching and learning, or vice versa? What are the processes of exchange that occur in between spaces, or outside the context of formal learning? What are the approaches we can take to indigenize our academy? Where are there the limits or possibilities within our existing infrastructures? Through an ongoing interrogation of these themes, explored through both radical and practical propositions for our institution's future, the series aims to arrive at a collective and forward-thinking approach to our work and our role in our community at large. More information at imagining.ecuad.ca