Sable Sweetgrass

Photo: Courtesy of Sable Sweetgrass

Sable Sweetgrass

Our director of engagement and reconciliation looks forward to new opportunities for Indigenous artists

June is National Indigenous History Month, and Sable Sweetgrass, Director of Engagement and Reconciliation at Calgary Arts Development (CADA), is excited about all that is happening — not just the numerous celebrations around Calgary, but also some new opportunities for Indigenous artists, including creating more Indigenous representation in public art.

“We have some new people at CADA who work with Indigenous people (in) the Public Art program… Tamara Cardinal and Jared Tailfeathers. There’s so many possibilities. But I think the more exciting thing for me will be the engagement aspect of it and getting together with different communities,” she says adding that there has not been a lot of public art representation from the Treaty 7 First Nations or the Métis community in our city’s public art.

Sable says one of her goals is to visit different First Nations communities as well as to hold some engagement sessions in the city to introduce Indigenous artists, exchange ideas and build awareness about existing opportunities like the Original Peoples Investment Program.

Further down the road, Sable is looking forward to the upcoming North American Indigenous Games in 2027, with many First Nations and Native American tribes and athletes coming together here in Calgary to compete. Despite the focus being on sport for these games, Sable also sees opportunities for artists.

“In the Indigenous community, athletics and art go hand in hand. And so we’re going to, I think it’s going to be a huge opportunity for Indigenous artists here in Treaty 7 and in Calgary. … A lot of events (will be) happening in the arts… and it’s just a perfect opportunity for us to showcase Indigenous arts here and across North America.”

And on a personal note, Sable talks about her own artistic practice and her experience writing and working on her memoirs. “I mean, it’s just, it’s me just like basically putting together my memories of growing up here in Calgary as an Indigenous Blackfoot person, as a transgender person.”

Tune in to hear more from Sable Sweetgrass and podcast host Cherie McMaster as they look forward to the opportunities and events that celebrate Indigenous peoples and culture this month.

About The Storytelling Podcast

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts. Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, affecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at

Living a Creative Life Logo