Shelley Niro

Shelley Niro was born 1954, in Niagara Falls, NY. Currently she lives in Brantford, Ontario, where she is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan. A multi-media artist whose work involves photography, painting, beadwork, and film, Niro is conscious of the impact post-colonial media have had on Indigenous people. Like many artists from different Native communities, she works relentlessly to present people in realistic and exploratory portrayals, in photo series such as Mohawks in Beehives, This Land is Mime Land, and M: Stories of Women. Niro's films include Honey Moccasin, It Starts with a Whisper, The Shirt, Kissed by Lightning, and Robert's Paintings. An Honours graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Niro received her MFA from the University of Western Ontario. In 2012, she was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award, presented through the Ontario Arts Council. In 2017, she received a Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts from the Canada Council; the Scotiabank Photography Award; and the Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL Award. Niro also received an Arts and Culture Award from the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation. Niro continues to produce work reflecting herself and her community.

Artist Code: 564


Tekahionwake, Pauline

2021, 19:38 minutes, English


2015, 05:00 minutes, colour, English / Mohawk

Robert's Paintings

2011, 52:00 minutes, colour, English/Saulteaux

Shelley Niro Compilation

2010, 37:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English

Kissed by Lightning

2009, 89:00 minutes, colour, English

The Flying Head

2008, 05:00 minutes, B&W, English


2008, 06:03 minutes, colour


2007, 02:49 minutes, colour


2006, 05:00 minutes, B&W/colour, soundscape only, closed captions


2005, 57:00 minutes, colour, English

The Shirt

2003, 05:55 minutes, colour, English

Sky Woman With Us

2002, 07:00 minutes, colour

Honey Moccasin

1998, 49:00 minutes, colour, English

Overweight with Crooked Teeth

1997, 05:00 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

Curatorial Incubator v. 16: Living in Hope
by Lisa Steele. Toronto: Vtape, 2021.
Shelley Niro
by Murray Whyte. The Toronto Star, May 21, 2017.
The Journey's Discovery
by Elizabeth Weatherford. Native Americans on Film: Conversations, Teaching, and Theory, 2013. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2013.
M: Stories of Women: Shelley Niro
by Sally Frater. M: Stories of Women, Oct 2011.
Decolonizing Colonial Violence: The Subversive Practices of...
by Janice Hladki. Canadian Woman Studies, 2006, v. 25, no. 1-2.
Locus Suspectus: where the hidden comes to light
by Kay Burns. Artichoke, Spring 2005, v. 17, no. 1.
Coming to Video - A Canadian Perspective: where the hidden comes...
by Sandra Vida. Locus Suspectus - Where the Hidden Comes to Light, 2004. Calgary: Truck Contemporary art, 2004.
Reappropriating Redskins: Pellerossasogna (Red Skin Dream):...
by Nancy Marie Mithlo. Visual Anthropology Review, Fall 2004, v. 20, no. 2. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
Seeing and Being Seen in Media Culture: Shelley Niro's Honey Moccasin
by Darrell Varga. CineAction, 2003, v. 61. Toronto: CineAction Collective, 2003.
by Kathryn Walter and Kyo Maclear. Private Investigators: Undercover in Public Space, 1999. Banff: Banff Centre Press, 1999.
Transactions: Investigations of postcolonial identity
by Rebecca Garrett. Gallery: The Art Magazine From the Gallery Delta, June 1999.
Interviews with Loretta Todd, Shelley Niro, and Patricia Deadman:...
by Lawrence Abbott. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 1998, v. 28, no. 2. Brandon: Brandon University, 1998.