Braiding Identity

Arts Activity

June 7

Join our School Visits Indigenous Education Coordinator Trainee, Devon Harview, and Harbourfront Centre’s Indigenous Resource Coordinator, Marissa Magneson, to learn about the cultural significance of sweetgrass while engaging in an arts activity that invites you to braid your own identity, one strand at a time.  

Alone, a single blade of sweetgrass is flimsy; however, when braided together, it becomes stronger. Similar to sweetgrass, one’s identity is made up of various facets that combine to create a greater whole. The role of sweetgrass in Indigenous spirituality and cultural practices is heavily entrenched in the way in which many Indigenous people view community. Just as the sweetgrass is used in tandem with the other Four Sacred Medicines, one must consider how their personal identity is interwoven into the greater whole of one’s culture and community. Every summer, Mother Nature’s hair grows longer with more sweetgrass to harvest. During harvest, tobacco is offered and thanks are given for the beautiful medicine she has provided. For many Indigenous peoples, the act of braiding is a sacred experience that involves good intentions, prayers and building community. In this activity, we will be working with materials many of us have around our homes to create and braid together the various components which together form who we are. 

Facilitator: Devon Harview

Devon Harview is the Indigenous Education Coordinator Trainee at Harbourfront Centre. He has just recently completed his BA (Honours) in French Studies from York University Glendon Campus and is looking forward to becoming a Modern Foreign Languages teacher after completing Teacher’s College. As a linguist and an artist, Harview integrates creative expression into his everyday life through learning and sharing his passions with others.

Facilitator: Marissa Magneson

Marissa Magneson is the Assistant Producer and Indigenous Resource Coordinator at Harbourfront Centre. She has a BFA (Honours) degree from York University and is currently working towards an MA in Canadian and Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Magneson is a Cree-Métis artist, photographer and workshop facilitator who works with a number of Urban Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. For samples of her work, please visit her website marissamagneson.com.

Braiding Identity

Arts Activity

June 7