Kahnyen’kehàka (Mohawk) Nation, Turtle Clan, Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith is a pottery designer, performer, choreographer, artistic director and producer from Six Nations of the Grand River territory. At the young age of 2 years old, Santee was creating her own dances and after an injury that left her with two broken legs, she went on to complete 6 years of formal dance training at Canada’s National Ballet School. After leaving the National Ballet School Santee went onto post-secondary education completing Physical Education and Psychology degrees from McMaster University and then received her Master of Arts in Dance from York University. It was while she was working on her Masters that she completed her first major choreographic work entitled Kaha:wi based on her family creation story. In 2005, Santee Smith founded Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) which she would grow into an internationally renowned company sharing Indigenous artistic voice globally. Her body of work includes 12 full productions and over 9 short performance works. Santee has received many nominations and awards for her artistry, some of which include: Ontario Arts Council’s K.M. Hunter Award for Dance, Canada Council for the Art’s Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for most outstanding mid-career artists in dance, John Hobday Award for outstanding achievement in arts management, Hamilton Music Award for Kaha:wi the soundtrack, and a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography in the Dance for Susuriwka – willow bridge.
For more info on Santee Smith's installation, click here: