Thursday May 11, 2017

How Shelley Niro fought back against First Nations shaming with her photography

Photographer Shelley Niro with Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont.

Photographer Shelley Niro with Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Melody Lau/CBC)

Listen 10:53

On Tuesday night, the seventh annual Scotiabank Photography Award was handed out in Toronto. The trophy went to Mohawk multimedia artist Shelley Niro, for a career-spanning three decades of work that's political, bold, but always thoughtful and, quite frequently, laugh-out-loud funny. 

On top of that prestigeous prize, Niro has two exhibitions on the go for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. They're public installations at Fort York and Ryerson University, places that have pointed meanings for Indigenous communities in Canada. 

Today, Niro joins Tom Power on the show to discuss her recent award, her work and portrayals of contemporary Indigenous life in Canadian art and culture.

Below are some examples of Niro's work:

Shelley Niro

Shelley Niro's 1991 photograph, 'Mohawks in Beehives.' (Courtesy of Shelley Niro)

Shelley Niro

(Courtesy of Shelley Niro)

ART Scotiabank Photography Award 20170509

A print from artist Shelley Niro, Sullivan Campaign, 2014. (The Canadian Press)

— Produced by Ashley Mak