University of Manitoba - Faculty of Arts - Native Studies - Sherry Farrell Racette
Sherry Farrell Racette

Sherry Farrell Racette
Associate Professor
BFA   University of Manitoba
MEd   Curriculum and Instruction, University of Regina
PhD   Interdisciplinary (Native Studies, Anthropology, History)
University of Manitoba
Office:  204C Isbister Bulding
Phone:  474-6720
Sherry Farrell Racette (Timiskaming First Nation / Irish) i

I am cross-appointed to  the Departments of Native Studies and Women and Gender Studies, teaching for both departments and also developing courses that will interest students in both disciplines. Prior to my appointment at the University of Manitoba, I was on faculty in the departments of art history (Concordia, Montreal), secondary First Nations education (First Nations University of Canada), cross-cultural education (University of Regina) and the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (Gabriel Dumont Institute). Most recently I was the 2009-2010 Ann Ray Fellow at the School for Advanced Research – a nine month scholar residency in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I worked on my SSHRC funded project:  “Material Culture as Encoded Objects and Memory:  Painted Hide Coats” and a book manuscript on Metis art and identity:  “Sewing Ourselves Together.” 

I am an interdisciplinary scholar  with an active arts practice.  My broad research interests are Métis and First Nations women's history, particularly indigenous art histories that recontextualize museum collections and reclaim women's voices and lives.  I have been moving towards contemporary art history in my recent writing and have an emerging curatorial practice. My arts practice includes painting and multi-media works combining textiles, beadwork and embroidery with images and text.  In addition, I illustrate children’s books and have worked with such noted authors as Maria Campbell, Freda Ahenakew and Ruby Slipperjack.  My most recent children’s book, Dancing in My Bones by Wilfred Burton and Anne Patton for the Gabriel Dumont Institute, won three 2009 Saskatchewan Book Awards.  Dancing was the second book in a series begun with Fiddle Dancer (2007), the final book in the series is Call of the Fiddle (forthcoming 2011).  A new edition of Stories of the Road Allowance People, by Maria Campbell will be coming out this fall.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: First Nations and Metis women’s history (and art history), First Nations and Metis work and educational history, Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy, contemporary First Nations art, photography, museum collections, First Nations and Metis traditional arts, , issues of representation and self-representation . . . .  wherever my attention-deficit (oops I mean eclectic) research methodologies take me.  I love drifting through the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives or any archive for that matter and opening random drawers in museum collections. Stories are my principal focus, stories of people, stories that objects tell, painting stories, telling stories and finding stories. 

FALL 2011: Native Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands
WINTER 2011:  Native Women and the Arts; Introduction to Women and Gender Studies in the Humanities

Returning Fire, Pointing the Canon:  Aboriginal Photography as Resistance, In The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada (McGill-Queens University  Press, 2011). 
Nimble Fingers, Strong Backs:  First Nations and Metis Women in Fur Trade and Rural Economies.  In Indigenous Women and Work:  Transnational Perspectives (University of Illinois Press, 2011).
“I Want to Call Their Names in Resistance”:  Writing Aboriginal Women into Canadian Art History.  In Rethinking Professionalism: Essays on Women and Art in Canada, 1850-1970 (McGill-Queens University Press, 2011)

Co-editor and essay contributor:
This Fierce Love:  Gender, Women and Art Making.  In Art in Our Lives: Native Women Artists in Dialogue, Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Sherry Farrell Racette, ed. with Lara Evans (SAR Press 2010). 
Traditional Arts and Media:  Resilience and Survivance.  In Clearing a Path:  New Ways of Seeing Traditional Indigenous Art, Carmen Robertson and Sherry Farrell Racette, eds. (Canadian Plains Research Centre 2009).