Heather Morigeau - They/She
Indigenous Arts | Queer Arts | Mad Arts
Heather is a Two Spirit, Indigenous artist currently residing in Mohkinstsis Treaty 7, the traditional lands of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Their heritage is Cree, Red River Metis, Ktunaxa Nation, as well as French, Celtic and German settler ancestry.
Her arts training began at age 3, when her maternal grandfather, William Miller, a high school arts teacher, recognized her uncommon awareness of proportions when doodling pictures of the family. Throughout her childhood she attended informal classes in ceramics, sketching, painting, Indigenous arts, sculpture, and weaving.
In 2003, they began studying as a goldsmith and jewellery designer in a professional capacity in their hometown at Red Deer Goldsmiths. Following the advice of artist Paul Leathers, they attended 3 years of jewellery arts study at George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario. This career spanned over 13 years in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. Ending in 2015 following the Gold King Mine tailing pond disaster, which dumped 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas and San Juan rivers, which travel through the Navajo Nation.
In 2012, Heather began a healing journey from addiction and mental illness, which brought them to Calgary, where they currently reside (2022). She lives with the diagnoses of schizophrenia, chronic depression, borderline personality disorder, general anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD and ADHD. Art is an important part of her mental health recovery, which she speak openly about in hopes to reduce stigma and stereotypes.
Her practice moved to permaculture and Indigenous land-based arts. In 2016 she began studying pine needle weaving as a traditional artform of her ancestral Ktunaxa Nation. This study includes connecting with family Elders for transference of ancestral teachings, visiting St. Eugene Mission - the residential school where her great-grandmother Theresa Kaius (Ktunaxa) attended and met her great grandfather Baptiste Morigeau (Metis), these ancestors are celebrated at the Golden Museum. She also receives teachings from pine needle weavers of the Ktunaxa Nation and meets with Nancy Anderson, a well-known settler pine needle weaver.
They have also studied botanical arts with Margette Best, watercolour painting, wood working, metal working, resin and mold making and enjoys working with gemstone pigments in many of their designs.
In 2020 she received the Calgary Mayor's Award for Arts Champions - ATB Healing through the Arts Award. From 2019-2021. Her artist in residencies, including Cree8, Fuse33 Makerspace in Calgary, Arts Council of Wood Buffalo in Fort McMurray including the Fort Chipewyan and Anzac First Nations, and Wild Mint Arts in Invermere BC with the Shuswap First Nation. They currently maintain a studio practice at Nvrlnd. Art Studio Foundation.