WATCH: Shelley Niro in conversation with Wanda Nanibush

If you’re in the GTHA, don’t miss the major retrospective of Shelley Niro’s work, 500 Year Itch, on now through May 26, 2024, at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, Vtape invited Shelley Niro to screen her newly digitized video works and her new feature. The screening was followed by a conversation between Shelley Niro and curator, writer, and artist Wanda Nanibush to discuss Niro’s works, which range from documentary-style to experimental to narrative fiction. With time for viewing, reflection, discussion, and a final wrap-up, the day was filled with humor, emotion, and deep engagement.


Shelley Niro was born in Niagara Falls, New York. Currently, she lives in Brantford, Ontario. Niro is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan. She is a multi-media artist. Her work involves photography, painting, beadwork, and film. Niro is conscious the impact post-colonial mediums have had on Indigenous people. Like many artists from different Native communities, she works relentlessly presenting people in realistic and explorative portrayals. Photo series such as Mohawks In Beehives, This Land Is Mime Land, and M: Stories Of Women are a few from this genre of artwork. Films include: Honey Moccasin, It Starts With A Whisper, The Shirt, Kissed By Lightning, and Robert’s Paintings. Shelley graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Honours, and received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Western Ontario. Niro was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award, presented through the Ontario Arts Council in 2012, and received the Arts and Culture Award from the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation. In 2017, Niro received the Governor General’s Award For Visual and Media Arts from the Canada Council, The Scotiabank Photography Award, and the REVEAL Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation.

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe curator, activist and author from Beausoleil First Nation, and recipient of the 2023 Toronto Book Award for Moving the Museum: Indigenous + Canadian Art at the AGO.