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

Scotiabank Photography Award winner Shelley Niro opens up about her work, which has spanned over three decades, and how her photos document Indigenous culture in Canada.
Photographer Shelley Niro with Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Melody Lau/CBC)

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's 1991 photograph, 'Mohawks in Beehives.' (Courtesy of Shelley Niro)
(Courtesy of Shelley Niro)
A print from artist Shelley Niro, Sullivan Campaign, 2014. (The Canadian Press)

— Produced by Ashley Mak


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