Festival Greetings

Piyesiw ikwe (Thunder Woman) | Grandmother Pauline Shirt – Cultural Advisor
Thunder-Woman of the Red tailed Hawk Clan
Plains Cree Nation

Tânisi from Turtle Island.

It is my great honour and privilege in the time of the Falling Leaves Moon, when Mother Earth gets ready to put on her colourful dancing harvest shawl to welcome our relatives from near and far to the 22nd annual imagineNATIVE Festival! 

This past year has been one of extreme changes for everyone as we all have had to shift and move in different and difficult situations, working to regain and find our footing in life once again. It is with this shifting that we look to one of our great teachers: Paskwawimostos, the Bison. Paskwawimostos, who stands in the Western Doorway and watches over and protects the River of Life, gifts to us her whole being to sustain life, and through her knowledge and teachings she provides her strength and determination for us to live Miyo Pimatisiwin — The Good Life. 

At one time she was almost wiped out, but our Elders heard her hooves rumbling in the earth and we knew she was still here. Through our gratitude ceremonies and dances, she has become stronger and more sure-footed to clear away anything on our path that may hinder us. 

As imagineNATIVE brings us together to share and showcase our stories, arts, and languages I would like to remind everyone that we are as resilient as Paskwawimostos, the Bison. We have her gentle, inner strength and determination to keep clearing our life paths. 

Blessings and have a wonderful Festival! 

Hiy Hiy, 

Piyesiw ikwe (Thunder Woman)|Grandmother Pauline Shirt 

Cultural Advisor, imagineNATIVE

KONA GOULET – Chair of Board


Welcome everyone to our 22nd imagineNATIVE Festival! 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank the imagineNATIVE team for their leadership, dedication, and vision for our second virtual Festival — accessible around the world to a growing, global audience.

Last year we had record attendance and participation in our first virtual Festival. Our team has built on this momentum and this year has envisioned innovative and exciting new ways to bring Indigenous storytelling to the public. While COVID-19 has kept so many apart we have sought new ways to connect us all — across our global community — through the power of storytelling.

This virtual Festival builds on the last 21 years of a vibrant and growing community of Indigenous cinematic, artistic, and inspired creators. We thank each and every one of you. We honour you and we celebrate you.

We look forward to connecting with each of you virtually, at home and around the world. 

Happy Festival!

Kinanaskomitinan! We thank you!


Kona Goulet
Chair, imagineNATIVE Board of Directors

NAOMI JOHNSON – Executive Director


Nia:wen/Thank you for your continued support of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

We are so pleased to present six exciting days of programming including screenings, special events, industry activities, exhibitions, and so much more. Huge praise and much gratitude to all who have pulled through an extraordinary year to carry on their work.

Our sincerest gratitude to all the filmmakers, artists, curators, friends, and leaders who lent their voices and talents in the formation of this year’s Festival. I would also like to take this moment to say nia:wen to all of those who carry a piece in making imagineNATIVE what it is, and in particular those involved in getting us to Festival 2021.

Thanks to our dedicated staff and board who so generously give their time, hearts, talents, and energy towards the goal of showcasing and celebrating the very best in Indigenous film and media arts. Thank you to our sponsors, funders, and all our donors for your generosity and support, especially so in these past two years. If you’re reading this and have been a “cousin” to imagineNATIVE, let me say thank you to you as well. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Nia:wen + enjoy the 22nd offering of imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Naomi Johnson
Executive Director

Scroll to Top