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Dr. Lila Pine Headshot

Dr. Lila Pine

Professor & Director, Saagajiwe
DepartmentRTA School of Media
EducationBA, Mt.St.Vin., MFA, York (Can.), PhD, European Graduate School
Memberships/ServicesTribe: Mi'Gmaq
Phoneext 556848

Lila Pine is a New Media artist and Indigenous thinker. She is the Director of Saagajiwe, FCAD’s Indigenous Communication and Design network, whose mission is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of Indigenous thought and ways of knowing and doing at Ryerson University and in the larger Indigenous community in Toronto.

Lila is the Principle Investigator of Imag(in)ing Indigeneity in Language, a SSHRC funded program of research creation. Through the visualization of sound, Imag(in)ing Indigeneity in Language seeks to develop a way of  “seeing” language in order to identify distinct qualities in the speaking of different languages. It employs digital art creation as a scholarly research tool and it engages Indigenous research methods to shift perceptions around the relationship of language to worldviews and ecological concerns. 

Lila is also collaborating with Buffy Sainte-Marie on a project called Creative Native: Youth Mentorship in the Arts Initiative. The Creative Native Project will bring touring multi-arts festivals to First Nations communities across Canada. Beginning in Ontario the festival will showcase local and professional Indigenous entertainers and artists of all kinds, while building a corps of local Indigenous youth who will take leadership positions in doable jobs and then mentor their peers at subsequent community events. 

Lila teaches Indigenous Media and New Media courses. She received her MFA from York University in Toronto and PhD from the European Graduate School. In 2011, she defended her dissertation, entitled Memory Matters: Touching the Untouchable, which theorizes oral, literate and “electrate” cultures, as well as the divergence and convergence of Indigenous and Eurocentric ways of knowing. Dr. Pine graduated Magna Cum Laude. 

In “commemoration” of 150 years of colonization, Pine’s latest art installation called Survival Through Sovereignty consisted of a tipi containing the names and year of death of 150 of the children who died while attending and fleeing residential schools. Their names and ages were laser printed on cedar planks hanging inside the tipi. A sacred fire burned for four days and four nights. On the final day the names etched in wood were burnt in the fire. The ashes were spread in Lake Ontario.  Part 2 of Survival Through Sovereignty is in the works.