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Susan Blight: breaking down silos – University Affairs

NOV 01 2023

‘All of my work is informed by my own understanding of Anishinaabe cultural identity.’

Susan Blight, an assistant professor at OCAD University, was teaching an online class on Indigenous literature during the pandemic when an idea struck. A student told Ms. Blight she was watching the lectures with her mom, and Ms. Blight remembers thinking, “This is how it should be. We should be able to invite our family members into the classroom.”

Ms. Blight is a member of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 and a band member of Couchiching First Nation. She is also the program chair in Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC) at OCAD University in Toronto and an interdisciplinary artist who works with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film and social practice.

As a researcher, artist and academic, there’s a binding thread throughout Ms. Blight’s varied work: making space for Indigenous people and Indigenous knowledge. When such knowledge is heard, validated and recognized, it opens up avenues for more equity, she says.

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