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Get to know the people behind Native Immigrant

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Carolina Echeverria

Founder and Artistic Director

Carolina is an artist, storyteller and the creator of a powerful relationship with words. Carolina is no stranger to controversy: her exhibits have always challenged social norms. Carolina believes in the power of a woman to change the current of perception in today’s world. A stranger in a strange land, she has adapted to a new culture while protecting her true self from its divisive politics.

Carolina has been working on an artistic statement of collective cultural values since 2010. As an artist, she seeks to bridge immigrants and First Nations, to talk about the space between Native and Immigrant by inserting a hyphen—a symbol of what holds us all together, to preserve the space in which dialogue, creativity, and true healing can occur.

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Oskenontona Philip Deering

President - Mohawk Cultural Interpreter and Educator

From 1972 to 1982, Philip Deering was Co-Administrator of Indian Way School (35 students) in Kahnawake; the first native controlled high school north of the U.S./Canadian border. In the fall of 1978 he created key design plan features for the Kahnawake Survival School (250 students) including project-based education, a participatory student council, and a campus style approach. For the last two years, he has been active on the Steering Committee of the Kahnawake Collective Impact community driven approach to community change.

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Ateronhiatakon Francis Boots

Spiritual Director - Mohawk Traditional Practitioner

A Mohawk war chief since 1974, centrally involved in the start up and development of The Akwesasne Notes, at the time, the world's leading indigenous and environmental newspaper.

Native Immigrant invited Francis Boots to perform an Iroquois Condolence Ceremony following the death of one of their members' friends, a Moroccan Jewish and Muslim ancestry family, their friends and loved ones, must mourn together. He accepted, hence, this memorable event where immigrants can find a local way to deal with rites of passage free from the constraints of individual religions, came to be.

Ateronhiatakon (Francis) Boots is centrally involved in the White Roots of Peace Traveling Group which travels across North and Central America, visiting universities and indigenous communities. Mr. Boots is now in constant demand to perform Iroquois rituals and ceremonies not only in his community but surrounding communities and across North America.

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Agata Kozanescka

Treasurer - Creative Consultant, Co-Curator

Born in Poland. Since 1990 lives in Montreal where, she is raising her family. For the last 14 years she has been involved in community activism in the context of Polish-Jewish relations, common heritage and history, bridging communities and promoting awareness. Considers a preservation of memories and the sharing of life stories important in the process of restoring mutual understanding and reconciliation.

As a member of Native Immigrant Collective, Agata continues her engagement in activities of immigrant dressmaking as artistic expression of cultural exchange, building tolerance and inclusiveness.

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Fabio Villalba


Colombian industrial designer and cultural manager. Fabio is a specialist in handcrafted product design with more than 15 years of experience in the contemporary jewelry sector. His main contribution as a designer, lies in the creation of innovative products through the revaluation of the traditional and contemporary.

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Cristian Zaelzer

Liaison Western STEAM - Indigenous Knowledge

Cristian is a Chilean Canadian award-winning scientist, educator, communicator, designer, & artist. Since 2016, he leads the Convergence Initiative, promoting transdisciplinary work among scientists & artists. Using conferences, exhibitions, workshops and pedagogical exercises, he has fostered collaboration, knowledge & resource sharing. He is advancing the public education of neuroscience and mental health, discussing and exchanging knowledge related to the connection between art and science.

Since 2019 he is involved with Native Immigrant as a liaison between Indigenous Knowledge and Western STEAM Education. Cristian's interest lay in the transversal sharing experiences between disciplines and the perspectives that Indigenous Knowledge can bring to science and medical practice. He believes that any Western science's attempts to reach communities must start with deep respect and understanding of the Indigenous views. This view implies a departure from the classical colonial imposition prevailing in the scientific outreach models and adopting an inclusive dialogue approach.

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Julia Ovando


Julia is passionate about the promotion of the identity, autonomy and rights of racialized and Indigenous women, as well as implementing culturally relevant and tradition- and art-based interventions to encourage an active practice of mental health -care. Passionate about community building, equity, inclusion and environmental advocacy, and interested in working to support migrant and Indigenous communities, she is inspired by her life, studies in Health, Sociology, Human Relations and Social Work, her work experiences as well as her Andean roots.

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Susan Scott

Creative Consultant, Writer, Editor

Susan,, is a writer and educator based in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, where she serves as a creative guide to artists, activists and writers. Susan serves as the Lead Nonfiction Editor with The New Quarterly ( and as Associate Creative Director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She specializes in facilitating the release and shaping of powerful personal, often transgressive, stories. In Native Immigrant that role extends to deep, sustained listening as well as storytelling, writing workshops, fostering relationships, and reflecting on our community arts practice as a whole. She has been with NI since Dress #1.

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Ivan Atehortua

Artistic Coordinator

Ivan is a self-taught artist born in Colombia into a large family of six siblings. He arrived in Quebec in October 2012 and currently lives in Montreal. With his pseudonym Solal comics, Ivan is experimenting with several techniques starting with caricature, collage, assemblage and urban art.

His first exhibition was in 2015 through YES Montreal for their Art Expo at the St-James Theatre. Subsequently, he was chosen as one of Fresh Paint Gallery's artists for the 2015 summer exhibition. In 2016, he won first prize in the Pierrefonds Art Competition, in 2020 Ivan had his first solo exhibition at Métèque.

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Nico Williams


Nico Williams has exhibited his work on a global scale. From large-scale installations to meticulously small beaded works, his body of work promotes a lasting peace and embodies his reflection on the Canadians and their relationships to the environment. His practice mixes a traditional spiritual dimension with reality.

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Francisca Pailalleo

Mapuche Traditional Cuisine Expert and Community Leader

Francisca is a strong community leader who focuses on recuperating traditional Mapuche cuisine. With her team of partners, she produces culinary events at her Centro de Eventos Artistico Cultural Newen Ko in Juan Andres Cheuque, Chile. She is the director of Newen Ko.

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Gabriel Ernesto Antilao Catrimil

Mapuche Cultural Interpreter

Gabriel is the leader of the Juan Andres Cheuque Community in Chile, and holds a master’s degree in social work. He is the spokesperson for the current water conflict that his and two other communities have with Forestal Mininco. Gabriel has been fighting for many years to better the life of Mapuche communities especially in what concerns the right to water. He is a gifted trutruca player.

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Adrián Silva Pino

Educational Curator

As educational curator, he plans and executes exhibitions and programs of museographic extension, heritage education and documentary filmography for different users in the museum: students, professors, researchers, tourists and general public. Active member of the Heritage Educator Network and the Región de los Ríos Museum Network. Producer and audiovisual director, he currently develops projects that link museums, schools and films as the cornerstone for the production of children’s movies.


Antropólogo, Coordinador de Extensión/Educación y del Laboratorio de Antropología Audiovisual de la Dirección Museológica de la Universidad Austral de Chile. Como curador educativo, planifica y ejecuta exhibiciones y programas de extensión museológica, educación patrimonial y cine documental para los diferentes usuarios de museos: estudiantes, profesores, investigadores, turistas y público general. Miembro activo de la Red de Educadores Patrimoniales y de la Red de Museos de la Región de los Ríos. Productor y director audiovisual, actualmente desarrolla proyectos que vinculan museo, escuela y cine como base para la realización de cine infantil.

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Felipe Bravo

Chile Media Contact

Felipe studies Anthropology at the Universidad Austral de Chile, he also collaborates with the Laboratory of Audiovisual Anthropology at the same institution where he produces anthropological documentary shows ( 18ªMUDAV ). He is member of the network of Educadores Patrimoniales de La Region de Los Rios. Currently, he is involved in the implementation of projects of heritage education FONDART, CONARTE and others, always establishing appropriate context for the comprehension of the natural and anthropological patrimony of the city of Valdivia, Chile.


Estudia Antropología y colabora en el Laboratorio de Antropología Audiovisual de la Universidad Austral de Chile, realiza la producción de la muestra documentales antropológicos de Valdivia (18ªMUDAV). Miembro de la red de educadores Patrimoniales de la Región de Los Ríos. Junto a un equipo, desarrolla el. Actualmente participa en la ejecución de los proyectos de educación patrimonial FONDART, “Prospección Visual Escolar: Valorando el Paisaje de la Región de los Ríos”, y CONARTE, que establece los contenidos mínimos para la comprensión del patrimonio antropológico y natural de la ciudad de Valdivia (Chile) “Patrimonio de Borde Río”.

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Diego Ugalde De Haene

Cultural and Research Consultant

Diego Ugalde De Haene is a puppeteer and a poet. Through his Compañia Banyan de Marionetas he has built bridges across cultures using ancient oriental marionette techniques to tell modern stories. For more than 15 years he has been telling stories, specializing in shadow puppet theatre. For the last few years, he has devoted himself to research and revitalization of native culture and languages. He is a member of Native Immigrant as a cultural and research consultant, as well as helping to establish links between Mexico and Montreal. Though based in Amealco, Mexico, he plans to come to Montreal as many times as possible to keep up his work and research around corn culture in the Americas.

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Lorenzo Terzoli

Bridge to Italy

Living in Italy, Lorenzo holds a masters in Development Studies from the Netherlands. He completed a thesis on Kahnawake’s community and its approach to the land. During his fieldwork in Canada, he started exchanging with Native Immigrant, especially member Philip Deering. Indigenous peoples are at the center of his studies and interests.

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