A few projects:
New!! I am co-leading a huge new project through the University of Lethbridge, a project honouring the peoples of my Métis Gaudry/Fayant families. The Red River Jig Network is a series of online visits and virtual/live-knowledge sharing activities with scholars, artist-practitioners, and community members of the Red River Jig (RRJ) family networks. Hosted by me (Dr. Suzanne Steele [ULeth]), and the Métis poet and scholar, Dr. Michelle Porter (Memorial), and newcomer, fiddler and scholar, Dr. Monique Giroux (ULeth), we seek to trace a ‘cultural DNA’ of a peoples for whom the RRJ represents not only a dance, an entertainment, a historical connection, but also signifies a national project, and, importantly, a spiritual balm. This project is a multi-year, cultural inquiry into dance, music, and song as practiced by the Red River Métis Family Networks. It focuses on the centrality of the RRJ to the Michif peoples but also invites conversations on its meaning to Indigenous peoples and friends throughout Turtle Island, the homeland, above and below the Medicine Line.
Co-producer and originator of the podcast, Li Keur (2020). Hosted by Bryna Link and Hannah Connolly (Canadian Mennonite University), this podcast engages in conversations from the heart of the continent on Indigenous languages, music, culture, and art in the age of reconciliation. Funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada research project on the Aesthetic Translation of Indigenous Languages, this project is a collaboration with composer Neil Wiesensel (Canadian Mennonite University).
image ©MIT Press 2019
Editor and advisor (substantive, copy, Indigenous and cross-cultural editorial style), Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating within Communities across Disciplines and With Algorithms MIT’s Open Documentary Lab’s Co-Creation Studio, headed by Emmy-winning documentarian, Kat Cizek.
Li Keur : Riel’s Heart of the North is a major new dramatic musical (book by S.M. Steele, music by Neil Weisensel and Alex Kusturok) that previewed (40 minutes) with the Regina Symphony in 2019, and that will premiere in 2023 (full-length) in Winnipeg. Li Keur is made possible by the Canada Council New Chapter Awards, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Manitoba Arts Council, and is in partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Louis Riel Institute, the Manitoba Metis Federation, and L’Union Nationale Métisse Saint Joseph de Manitoba. I wrote it in five languages (including three Indigenous: Cree-Michif, French Michif, Saulteaux) with help from: Madame Vera de Montigny, Jules Chartrand, June Bruce, Lorraine Coutu, Agathe Chartrand, Patsy Millar, Andrea Rose, Suzanne Zeke, Joyce Dumont, Donna Beach and Debra Beach Ducharme.
Above left to right, RAMM staff member, Dr. Suzanne Steele, Dr. Marjorie Gerhardt, curator Cristina Burke-Trees, MA, and Professor David H. Jones, at the Faces of Conflict exhibition opening (poster on the right) at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery.
I was literary advisor, a Named Collaborator, and team member of the three-year 1914FACES2014 Research Project: an international project funded by the EU, as part of the UK team (led by David Houston Jones) and a French team (led by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, Institut Faire Faces, Amiens). Professor Devauchelle was the first surgeon in the world to perform a face transplant. My work was as facilitator, presenter, assistant to the curator, installation artist, and literary advisor.
Project Lead, The Long Goodbye: a conversation across a century, an Exeter-fund WWI centenary outreach project, in Exeter, UK. This project was manifested by our fabulous team, and co-led by Dr. Jaime Robles and Dr. Mike Rose, with whom I formed Exegesis, and our wondrous assistant, Will Dyer. Other installations and publishing projects with Robles and Rose include: The Wittgenstein Vector, a meditation on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus; 51 Shades of Black & Blue (a satire and cabaret); and The Wall of Miracles, an international poetry project.