Embrace Indigenous Culture: Must-Attend Events in Toronto this October

Step into the rich and diverse world of Indigenous culture in Toronto this October! As the leaves change colour and the air becomes crisp, the city comes alive with a multitude of celebrations, exhibitions, and gatherings that pay homage to the rich heritage of Indigenous communities. From captivating films at the imagineNATIVE Film Festival, to the latest in Indigenous fashion, thought-provoking book tours, and breathtaking art shows, this month is all about honouring and sharing the traditions, stories, and talents of Indigenous people.
Let’s take a look at what’s going on this month:

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

October 17 – 22, 2023 – Toronto | October 23 – 29, 2023 – Online

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous Festival of its kind, presenting present Artistic and Industry programming showcasing Film + Video, Digital + Interactive, and Audio media work created by Indigenous artists (directors, producers, writers, designers) at all levels of experience. Visit imaginenative.org/festival/schedule/ to view the full event list.


Waubgeshig Rice: Moon of the Turning Leaves

Wed Oct 18 | 7 pm – 8 PM | 60 mins | Toronto Reference Library | Bram & Bluma Appel Salon

Bestselling author Waubgeshig Rice speaks with Rosanna Deerchild, host of CBC Radio One’s UNRESERVED, about Moon of the Turning Leaves, a brooding story of survival, resilience, Indigenous identity, and rebirth. Ticket registration for this event is required: Free tickets for this event are available to book via Eventbrite.


Art from the Turtle’s Back: Indigenous Artwork from Coast to Coast

Open daily until Oct 24th from 6 PM – 8:30 PM | 55 Avenue Road, The Oval & gallery on Upper level | Tkaronto/Toronto, Turtle Island/Canada

“Art from the Turtle’s Back: Indigenous Artwork from Coast to Coast,” showcasing the rich diversity of styles, mediums, and cultures from across Turtle Island. The artwork on display encompasses a range of multidisciplinary mediums, including sculptural works in copper, silver, quill, and beadwork, as well as paintings on canvas and birchbark, and visual media.


Indigenous Ingenuity

Open 7 days a week 10 AM – 4 PM | Until Oct 25 | Muskoka Discovery Centre: 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst, ON

This exhibition presents a clever and novel mix of science and culture intended to stir a sense of pride among First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities and celebrate the diversity, interconnectedness, and resourceful ways of knowing and being, that Indigenous knowledge and innovations provide in the global community.


Film showing: The Inconvenient Indian

Wed Oct 25 6 pm – 8 pm | 120 mins | Northern District library | Room 200 | DROP-IN

A deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian-White relations in North America since initial contact. Both timeless and timely, The Inconvenient Indian ultimately rejects the pessimism and cynicism with which Natives and Whites regard one another to chart a new and just way forward for Indians and non-Indians alike.


Helen Knott: Becoming a Matriarch

Thu Oct 26 | 7 pm – 8 pm | 60 mins | Toronto Reference Library | Jack Rabinovitch Reading Room

Bestselling author Helen Knott talks about her new memoir, a chronicle of grief, love, and legacy. Having lost both her mom and grandmother in just over six months, forced to navigate the fine lines between matriarchy, martyrdom, and codependency, Knott realizes she must let go, not just of the women who raised her, but of the woman she thought she was.


Grow Your Own Native Plants From Seeds

Sat Oct 28 | 2 pm – 4 Pm | 120 mins | Parliament Street Library | Story Room

Native plants have a long relationship with this land. Not only are they beautiful, they are also homes and food for other beings. Join Earthworker Joce Two Crows Tremblay and EnvIR Jenny Davis to learn everything you need to know to grow your own native plants from seed. You will learn what cold stratification means and why the fall is the best time to plant native plants. Come dressed to get dirty for this hands on workshop. To register please visit Parliament Street Branch or call 416-393-7663.


Indigenous Education Week: Indigenous Fashion and Regalia

Oct 30th – Nov 3rd

The theme ‘Indigenous Fashion and Regalia’ focuses on contemporary and traditional indigenous art and style that is culturally distinct, anti-colonial and celebratory of identity and nation. Some events include: Inuit Fashion Guest Speak with Naulaq LeDrew, Polymer Clay Earrings with Assinewe Jewelry, Fashion Photography: Two-Spirit + Indigiqueer Storytelling with Kikki Guerard, a Fashion at Hart House in the Great Hall with Brands such as Lesley Hampton, Section 35, Neechi by Nature, Aaniin, etc. The events are FREE and OPEN TO ALL and are listed on CLNx for folks to register.

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