Taking its title from a body of work by Sonny Assu, depicting Spiderman in a traditional Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw style, When Raven Became Spider was a contemporary art exhibition at the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina curated by Vancouver-based, Gitxaala/British artist and writer Leena Minifie, raised in Kitimat, B.C. The subsequent book When Raven Became Spider (ARP $14.95) documents that exhibition and also extends Minifie’s research into supernatural characters in Indigenous art and modern comic superheroes. There are essays by Indigenous scholars, commissioned artwork by Jolene Yazzie, and contributions by Jennifer Matotek (Foreword), Antonio R. Chavarria, Dr. Lee Francis IV, Dr. Elizabeth LaPensée, Joi T. Arcand, Sonny Assu, Julianne Herney, Shaun Beyale, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Jeffrey Veregge.

After working in Edmonton for Media-Masters and independent producers in Alberta, Minifie’s acceptance into Capilano College’s Aboriginal Film and Television Program (AFTP) prompted a move to Vancouver in 2001. She completed a two-year diploma specializing in Producing in the Advanced Motion Picture Program. Her graduating film, Two Lines, placed 2nd in the 2002 Cascadia Festival of Moving Images for best post-secondary dramatic short. Minifie moved back to her traditional territory on Kaien Island (Prince Rupert, BC) where she produced news for agencies that included CBC, NPR and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network’s Prime Time National News. She returned to Vancouver when she was accepted into the CFTPA/Telefilm’s Producer in Training Program, eventually starting her own company, Stories First Inc.

Starring Melina Laboucan Massimo (Cree) and produced and directed by Minifie, Geeka (Water’s Edge) is her narrative, modern Native dance film that explores one Native American dancer as she interacts with a future in which the most powerful rivers and pristine lakes run dry.

9781988404066 ILMBC2

[BCBW 2017]