Minnawaanigogiizhigok (Dawnis Kennedy)

A Lecture by Minnawaanigogiizhigok (Dawnis Kennedy):
Existing in Conflict with the Law: Canada’s Indian Act, and the Legislation and Criminalization of Indigenous Identity

Thursday, March 28, 2019 | 7pm
as part of our Respondent Series

At Plug In ICA, Unit 1, 460 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Plug In ICA invited Minnawaanigogiizhigok (Dawnis Kennedy) to present on her research, exploring the impact of Canada’s Indian Act on identities of Indigenous peoples and the communities and governance structures they maintain. In her talk, Existing in Conflict with the Law: Canada’s Indian Act, and the Legislation and Criminalization of Indigenous Identity, Kennedy unpacked how treaty and governance are understood within Anishnaabe law. This presentation by Kennedy on Thursday, March 28, at 7pm was part of our Respondent Series in conjunction with Jean-Paul Kelly’s current exhibition, That ends that matter.*

Minnawaanigogiizhigok (Dawnis Kennedy) (LL.M)  is the Community Connection Coordinator at Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre (MICEC). Minnawaanigogiizhigok (Happy/Joyous Day Woman) is a member of the Waabizheshi (Marten) Clan from Bigaawanishkoziibing – Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation. She is a second degree Midewiwin (Way of the Heart) person and member of the Three Fires Society. Minnawaanigogiizhigok was also raised as Ojichidaakwe (Female Person of Big Heart) by the Ojichidaa Society in Bigaawanishkoziibing. Also known as Dawnis Kennedy, Minnawanigogiizhigok is of European and Ojibwe Anishinabe lineage works to bring best of both traditions forward.

Dawnis is a wife, auntie, great auntie, mother, sister, cousin, daughter, niece, granddaughter, caregiver and friend. She is an enthusiastic bead collector, sometimes crafter and occasional beadworker. She is an accomplished scholar focused on learning Anishinabe Onakonigewin (the law of Anishinabe peoples), a community educator and a support to many of the people in her life. In her work, Dawnis draws on her training as a helper, her western education, her learning in the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, her experience as a Trudeau Foundation Scholar and her mentorship as a visiting scholar of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Centre of Excellence in Anishinabe Education.

This talk is available in our online video archive.

Thank you to the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre for making this presentation possible.

*The exhibition That ends that matter continued the artist’s interest in the divide between materiality and perception; what we see and what is actually represented. The exhibition centered on Kelly’s own recounting based on memory and observation as a visitor to courtroom hearings at the City of London’s Magistrates’ Court in the UK— a criminal justice system, which completely forbids any kind of recording; visual or otherwise. The result included a visual music animation, online image streams, and a re-enactment of witnessed events. The various film selections served as a boarder set of relations to the exhibition and Kelly’s overall interests in different forms of representation from documentary frameworks to film production.  That ends that matter was the first presentation of Jean-Paul Kelly’s work in Winnipeg and in the prairies. For more information on the artist and the exhibition visit our website:



Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are on Treaty One Territory, the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Oji-Cree Nations.

Thank you to the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre for making this presentation possible.

Production of That ends that matter was made possible through funding support of Ontario Arts Council with additional research support from the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Kuzuko Trust Award and Delfina Foundation’s family of individual supporters.

Plug In ICA extends our gratitude to our artists, generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at

All public programming is free and open to the public.

This exhibition contained explicit sexual and violent content material. Discretion advised.

For more information on this and our other education programs, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art
460 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3C 0E8


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