Indigenous women photographers create online community to share images, stories

From fashion shoots to a first-time moose-hunt, a new website has given a group of Indigenous women photographers an online community where they can share their work and stories.

Tea and Bannock blog started by Dene/Métis photographer Tenille Campbell

Amanda Laliberte's child features in her photoessay on the Tea and Bannock blog, "Behind the Scenes of a Mom Photographer." (Amanda Laliberte/Tea and Bannock)

From fashion shoots to a first-time moose-hunt, a new website has given a group of Indigenous women photographers a place where they can share their work and stories amongst themselves and with a growing audience.

The Tea and Bannock logo, created by co-founder Joi T. Arcand. (Joi T. Arcand)
Tea and Bannock is a collective blog that features the work of seven photographers from across the country, including co-founders Tenille Campbell, who is Dene and Métis and Joi T. Arcand, who is Cree.

Other contributors include Shawna McLeod, a Dene photographer from N.W.T., Jessica Wood, Gitxsan from B.C., Amanda Laliberte, who is Métis, Caroline Blechert, who is Inuvialuit and Claudine Bull, who is Cree.

"We're just showing that we all have these experiences and they're all different but they're all Indigenous and they're all relevant," Campbell said.

Launched in January 2016, Tea and Bannock already has dozens of photo essays about those wide range of experiences, including northern living, powwows, hunting trips, a tour of an abandoned residential school and even "Indigenous erotica."
'Indigenous erotica' features in Tenille Campbell's photoessay, "Dreamcatchers and Sweetgrass." (Tenille Campbell/Tea and Bannock)
Campbell, a Dene and Métis woman who also runs a business called Sweetmoon Photography, said the site and its name, were born out of a desire for a sense of community with other Indigenous women photographers — a place that feels like you are sitting around a table, enjoying tea and bannock.
Indigenous women march on Vancouver's downtown eastside. An image from Jessica Wood's photoessay, "Their Spirits Live Within Us." (Jessica Wood/Tea and Bannock)
"I wanted something that would evoke memories. It must be universal across Turtle Island, but I think we all have our own version of the memory of tea and bannock with our grandmas, of family, kinship and tradition," Campbell said. 
A makeup session for a colleague becomes a fashion shoot in Shawna McLeod's photoessay, "Kakamak and Beauty." (Shawna McLeod/Tea and Bannock)
Since launching the site, Campbell she's been contacted by other Indigenous women photographers from across the Americas who want to contribute. Also, she and the other contributors to the Tea and Bannock blog have even begun mentoring other up and coming Indigenous women photographers.

See more photos from the Tea and Bannock blog: