On Wednesday November 30, I hosted Decolonial Soup at Xpace Cultural Centre to create allyship and dialogue around the colonial history of North American Thanksgiving for both settler and non-settler students, artists and community members through an evening of sharing a warm meal and conversation. I have found this to be a formidable learning experience in community development. I invited guest speaker, Lisa Myers, artist, chef and educator to discuss cultural narratives on food, tradition, ceremony and her personal art practice. I also invited Shawna Howe, MSW and Indigenous counselor to conduct a smudging ceremony and traditional drum song to open the event. 

This event was made possible with the collaboration of Xpace Cultural Centre, Critical Soup and OCAD U's Indigenous Visual Culture Program.


Decolonial Soup Event Poster

Design by Kaiatonoron Dumoulin Bush


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DATE: Wednesday November 30, 2016 Decolonial Soup Xpace Summary
TIME:5:00-7:00 PM
LOCATION: 2-303 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto ON M6K 2WS XPACE STAFF: Emily Gove, Cameron Lee, Genevieve Wallen
FACILITATORS: Shawna Howe, Lisa Myers, Amanda Robertson-Hébert, Dana Prieto, Sean Sandusky EVENT ATTENDANCE: 24


5:00 PM- Attendees Arrived

5:15 PM- Event was opened with Land Acknowledgment read out by XPACE staff5:20 PM- Smudging Ceremony and Drum Song (Friendship Song) facilitated by ShawnaHowe

5:40 PM- Introductions to facilitators. Vision Statement read for Critical Soup. Endorsement made for INVC programming including: Buffalo Stew, Bead and Read, Student Support, Drop-In Counseling, Tutoring, INVC Degree and Minor Programs.

Lisa Myers Introduced.

5:50 PM- Food served to table.

Menu: sweet potato and black bean soup with a la carte green onions, cilantro, black beans (prepared by Critical Soup) and authentic Treaty 3 wild rice with onions and buttercup squash (prepared by Lisa Myers)

6:00 PM- Lisa Myers presented a 30 minute slide presentation and special guest talk including spoken word gratitude stories, indigenous food sovereignty and environmentalism, her personal art practice and community based arts, a personal recollection and story of manomin (wild ricing), story on the meaning of the word miigwetch.

6:30 PM- Attendees participated in “Turkey Hand” craft-making activity, documenting their reflections of the workshop and dinner.

7:00 PM- Event concluded.


In light of recent political events, we are called together to revise, reconsider and re-evaluate where we have come from and our shared history. It is with urgency that we come together with warmth and understanding and embrace our diverse and intersectional identities and perspectives. As the season changes, thoughts are brought to fall harvest and the cold months of winter to come.

Join us for a special talk by artist and educator Lisa Myers from 5-7pm who will discuss how food and environmental ethics are interconnected. She will explain how food has a material and symbolic life with connections to place, culture and history as well as the use of food in her art practice.

In response to North American Thanksgiving, join us for a FREE warm homemade meal hosted by Xpace Cultural Centre with a guided discussion and sharing circle facilitated by INVC’s Shawna Howe and Critical Soup organizers, Dana Prieto, Amanda Robertson-Hébert and guest Sean Sandusky as we deconstruct the selective account of our modern Thanksgiving narrative that marks generations of colonizing people, land and nature. Share with us your cultural traditions, favourite foods, customs, stories of gratitude or frustration, hopes or fears in an inclusive environment intended for collective healing and community building.

Decolonial Soup will open with a smudging ceremony and traditional song facilitated by OCAD University’s Indigenous counselor, Shawna Howe, BA, MSW.

FREE with registration! Register at xpace.eventbrite.com. Space is limited!

Our event is committed to maintaining an anti-oppressive, queer positive environment, welcoming marginalized, racialized and indigenous folks.

Accessibility: Xpace’s entrance is at street level with no steps. The galleries, office and gender neutral washrooms are all located on the 1st floor. Service animals may accompany visitors at any time.

Decolonial Soup has been organized by the collaborative efforts of Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University, student-run initiative Critical Soup and Xpace Cultural Centre.
Critical Soup is an OCAD U student-run initiative opening spaces to share food and conversations about art and social justice.

Lisa Myers is an independent curator, artist, musician and chef with a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. She is a member of Beausoleil First Nation and holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. Myers is an assistant lecturer in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University where she teaches food studies, public engagement and community arts. Her ongoing curatorial research looks at different understandings of value through themes such as treaties and land, time, sound, and documents/documentation. Myers has curated numerous exhibitions in artist-run centres, public galleries and museums and has had the opportunity to tour three exhibitions: Reading the Talk (2014), Recast (2014), and Wnoondwaamin | we hear them (2016). As an artist Myers has exhibited her artwork in venues including Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), Art Gallery of Peterborough and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her writing has been published in art publications FUSE and C Magazine and in the journals Public and Senses and Society. Myers works in Port Severn and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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