Open Call for Participants

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Open Call for Participants

Chinese x Indigenous Cultural Exchange Committee Members

As part of Annie Wong’s Calgary Chinatown Artist-in-Residence project, Wong is inviting participants who identify as Chinese and Indigenous to form an ad hoc cultural exchange committee dedicated to collectively learning about Chinese and Indigenous histories on Turtle Island.

This program will involve a series of six virtual cultural exchange workshops led by various leaders in the community throughout May to July, 2021. The goal of the program is to create a space for decolonial solidarity building among these two communities by forming new relationships and actively learning/unlearning histories and sharing cultural practices. Committee members will receive an honorarium of $350 for their participation.


  • Attend six workshops through May to July 31, 2021, in addition to one final public conversation facilitated by Annie Wong.
  • Contribute to creating a safe space for fellow committee members.
  • Share reflections and learning with the committee.
  • Advise on areas of interests to help shape the program’s curriculum.
  • Advise on the production of an artwork by Annie Wong.

The Ideal Candidates will Possess

  • An awareness of anti-oppression principles and cultural sensitivity.
  • A commitment to anti-racist and decolonial solidarity practices in your profession or everyday life.
  • Must identify as Chinese or Indigenous and live in Calgary.
  • Must have some connection to either Calgary Chinatown or the Indigenous communities in Calgary.

Schedule of Events (May Change)

Duration of workshop: Two to three hours

1st Workshop: Initial committee meeting, May 8, 2021
2nd Workshop: The history of Treaty 7 and Chinatown, June 6, 2021
3rd Workshop: TBA, June 13, 2021
4th Workshop: TBA, June 20, 2021
5th Workshop: TBA, July 11, 2021
6th Workshop: TBA. July 18, 2021
Final Presentation: Committee share key insights about what they learned, July 25, 2021

About the Program

The only remains of the former Calgary Indian Friendship Centre in the lot of 140 2nd Avenue SW is a solitary ceremonial pole. Its proximity to the Chinese Cultural Centre directly across it, recalls the early encampments where First Nations people temporarily settled by the boundary of the Bow River and the first Chinatown. These vestiges of geographic adjacency reflect the racial segregation between settlers and Indigenous peoples, which Dawn Maracle[1] describes, as imperative for maintaining colonial order during the early years of white settlement. Laws restricting the mobility of the first Chinese immigrants beyond Chinatown, and Indigenous peoples beyond the reserve, ensured no relationships formed between these two communities. Though a history of relations may be obscure, a future can be imagined.

Chinatown is a manifestation of community resistance and self-determination despite its origins in the systemic ghettoization of Chinese immigrants. As a result of generational racial justice activism led by the Sien Lok Society and the “friends of the folk”, the neighborhood was built as a haven and site of cultural safety for the community. To extend this sense of safety in Chinatown to other non-white communities is an act of solidarity, a seed for future cultural exchange, and an opportunity to safely share legacies of survival rooted in a common struggle against systemic racism. While Chinatown thrives as a racialized neighborhood, it is built on stolen land. In a conversation about Treaty 7, seth cardinal dodging horse discusses how treaties are inclusive of settlers and states, we are all treaty people.[2] Yet the meaning of this, particularly for settlers of colour, has not been given the opportunity to be explored. This cultural exchange program is an opportunity for invested Chinese members in Calgary to explore what it means to be treaty people as settlers of colour.

[1] The myth of Canada the Good: Why settlers need to understand the Indian Act now (Part 3 of SURJ’s Intro to Anti-Racism series). October 7, 2020
[2] These rocks are a reminder: an interview with seth cardinal dodging horse. In How to be a Chinese Ally [soon to be published].

About the Artist

Annie Wong is a writer, community organizer, and multidisciplinary artist working in performance and installation. Conceptually diverse, her practice explores the intersections between the political and poetic in everyday life. Wong has presented across North America including at the Toronto Biennale of Art, Studio XX, SBC Gallery (Montreal, QC), and Third Space Gallery (Saint John, NB). She has been awarded residencies with the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant (Toronto, ON), The Khyber Centre for the Arts (Halifax, NS), Banff Centre for Creativity and Art (Banff, AL), and the Varley Art Gallery. Her literary works can be found in Koffler.Digital, The Shanghai Literary Review, C Magazine, and Canadian Art.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Annie Wong by email

To sign up, please visit and fill out the form

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