Past FIRE Grant Recipients


FIRE (Funding Indigenous Resurgence in Edmonton) program staff and leadership at the Edmonton Heritage Council are pleased to announce the latest recipients of FIRE Grants!

Congratulations to the Spring 2022 FIRE recipients:

Jessica Sanderson-Barry
Kyla Pascal
Meghan and Tamara Eaker
Heather Shillinglaw
The Red Road Healing Society

We would like to thank everyone who applied. This was an incredibly competitive round as we received double the applications from last year and were only able to fund five applicants; however, we are excited to announce that our Fall 2022 FIRE intake is now open!

View the grant guidelines and application form on our website. Deadline to submit is September 30th.

If you have questions, would like support in putting your application together, or would like feedback on a previous application, contact the Indigenous Initiatives Lead, Jessica Johns, at

Congratulations again to the Spring FIRE recipients! We are incredibly excited to see your projects come to life.

Jessica Sanderson-Barry:

Jessica Sanderson-Barry‘s project, Storytelling Through Resurgence of Urban Moose Hide Tanning, will take place this summer at PÎYÊSÎW WÂSKÂHIKAN at the Stanley A. Milner Library. This safe space will allow folks an opportunity to learn how to try moose meat, flesh and scrape a moose hide, work with finished smoked moose hide, and make a pair of hide earrings. Hide tanning is a form of reclamation, sovereignty, and cultural resurgence. It provides healing to our communities and this urban hide camp will revitalize these traditional practices in amiskwacîwâskahikan so we can continue to tell our stories of who we are and where we come from.

Jessica Sanderson-Barry of JShine Designs is a nêhiyaw-iskwêw, mother, full-time Cree Artist, Designer and Hide Tanner from Chakastaypasin Band, Treaty 6 Territory. Jessica has created her wearable art under the name JShine Designs and is currently working out of Edmonton, Alberta. Her art practice is influenced by her Cree roots, her lived experience and the land surrounding her. Jessica combines both traditional and contemporary beading styles into her art. Throughout her practice she utilizes elements from the land such as traditionally tanned hides, reclaiming the practice and art of hide tanning. Beading and working on hides have awakened her spirit and she finds beading as a way to express herself by creating beautiful adornments for everyday wear. Follow Jessica and her projects here:


Instagram: @jshinedesigns


Kyla Pascal:

Kyla Pascal’s project, She Said So, is going to showcase stories and art from Métis community writers and illustrators in an Edmonton-based art show. This show will be a place to share stories, ideas, passions, and histories and will include an exhibit as well as a zine. The art will focus on the stories of women and gender diverse folks, featuring both new and emerging artists.

Kyla Pascal is an Afro-Indigenous (Métis and Dominican) woman born and raised in amiskwaciwâskahikan ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Edmonton, Alberta). Over the years Kyla has worked with several organizations focusing on social planning, advocacy, and community-building. Her experiences and interests are centred around Indigenous solidarity, sustainability, art, and food justice. The goal of her work is to build more resilient, just, and healthier communities. She currently co-edits Hungry zine, is a member of the Indigenous art collective, nipahimiw, and is a recent graduate student with the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC. Follow Kyla and her projects here:

Instagram: @kyla__shell

Twitter: @kylaShellan

Meghan and Tamara Eaker:

The miyo pimatisiwin storysharing circle is organized and hosted by cousins Meghan and Tamara Eaker. In this storytelling series, Indigenous community members and allies will gather in community to support each other by sharing our stories, poetry, and art as medicine. The circle is guided by nehiyaw-informed storysharing approach called e-mamawi niâcimowinân (we share our stories all together), which is grounded in nehiyaw teachings including wahkowtowin (kinship/we are all related), miyo-wîcihitowin (living harmony together), and miyo pimatisiwin (a good life). The miyo pimatisiwin storysharing circle is a way of responding to the need for Indigenous community mutual aid, empowered healing, and the co-creation of joyful and just futures for ourselves and our communities in this time of colonialism. Each circle brings together community members, an Elder, a ‘supportive listening auntie,’ organizers, and guest readers.

Tamara Eaker is an Indigenous artist; half Ojibwe-Anishinaabe, from the Long Plain band, and half Cree/Métis from Little Saskatchewan. She works in acrylic painting, digital illustrations, traditional beading and crafting, sculpture, photography, woodworking, storytelling, textiles, and more. She applies her training in graphic design, art history, and Indigenous studies to create a platform for storytelling and emotional vulnerability. Through her work, she connects to the spiritual power of nature, speaks of the hard truths of Indigenous people’s history, and shares the gift of knowledge. It is her artistic goal to inform, inspire, and help others.

Meghan Eaker (she/her) is an amiskwaciywâskahikan-based poet, registered nurse, and beading artist of mixed European and nehiyaw ancestry and is a member of the Woodland Cree First Nation in treaty 8 territory. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Alberta studying storysharing as a practice towards miyo pimatisiwin (a good life).

Follow the miyo pimatisiwin storysharing circle here:


Instagram: @meghaneaker

Heather Shillinglaw:

This is a visual art project called ᒫᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᒋᑲᐣ ᑯᑖᐄᐧᐤ mâmitonêyihcikan kotâwîw (my mind digs in the soil like a turtle). This project will consist of stitched landscapes examining lost creeks, ponds, and lakes in the Edmonton river valley. With teachings from Elder Shirley Norris-Shillinglaw on oral-histories, ethnobotany, harvesting ancestral lands, and further information from Ruth McConnell, an ethnologist/genealogist, Heather is researching the recorded history of these Edmonton landscapes and then will reproduce the physical land changes of the water loss into her designs. Her work will be shown at various art galleries in 2023.

Heather Shillinglaw is an Appetogasan, Cree/Dene, Salteaux Chipewyan & Scots/French looking to her Awas Nohkom’s (Grandmothers before) for guidance by contemplating the bush for healing, life, and sustainability. These grandmothers carried all they owned, balancing their lives within the landscape and following the buffalo. Shillinglaw aspires to make art to honour them. Listening to the sage advice by Elders and Knowledge Keepers inclusive of working with anthropologists of the South American Indigenous tribes – Maputches and Guarani medicine women. This cultural sharing combined with historians and scholars to make art, blending concepts of body, mind, and spirit becomes woven messages through her practice. Her beadwork, painting, sewing, and sculpture evolves a milieu of ideas to convey multiple messages. Follow Heather and her projects here:


Instagram: @shillinglawheather

Twitter: @hshillinglaw


The Red Road Healing Society:

The Red Road Healing Society, with the assistance of Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, Ben Calf Robe Society, and with the support of Enoch Cree Nation, will provide the Shoonka Wakan Youth Memorial Horseback Ride program to Indigenous youth experiencing homelessness, youth in government care or transitioning out of care, LGBTQ2S+, and youth with mental health and addiction challenges. Indigenous youth experiencing homelessness, youth in government care or transitioning out of care, LGBTQ2S+, and youth with mental health and addiction challenges will benefit from traditional healing ceremonies, and group therapy supported by equine therapy. The Shoonka Wakan Youth Memorial Horseback Ride is a more in-depth and longer duration pilot program that we plan to offer annually, where youth have direct access to ceremonial teachings, stories from Elders and trained counsellors, and each other in a group atmosphere.

At The Red Road Healing Society, our mission is to walk with all our relations on the Red Road of life by remembering, renewing and restoring our traditional roles and values that brings life. We offer a variety of programs and services throughout the year, in the day and evening, that are delivered from a cultural grassroots perspective. This includes Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Indigenous craft classes including beading and drum making, Indigenous language classes, counselling services for individuals and families from an Indigenous perspective, as well as social services guidance and advocacy, addictions recovery programs including Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. We also participate in a “hub and spoke” collaborative model with other Indigenous agencies, including Aboriginal Women’s Professional Association, Ben Calf Robe Society, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, and more.

Follow The Red Road Healing Society at their website:

2021 FIRE Recipients

An Inuit led project, under the guidance of the Inuit Community Development and Education Foundation (ICDEF), seeking to engage youth and urban Inuit in traditional harvesting and preparation practices. Utilizing existing supply networks connected to the North, fresh resources will be brought to the Edmonton region for community and cultural practices. This will connect grassroots Inuit in Edmonton to said networks as well as ignite Inuit cultural practices in the urban space.

A three stream project, carried forward by the Edmonton 2Spirit Society, which seeks to increase 2Spirit presence in Edmonton through the past, present and future. By examining Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ history in Edmonton, supporting youth in the city and providing health supports, the E2SS will provide a greater sense of belonging for its members and interested participants.

By engaging artists, the public and scholars, the Arts Working Group in Indigenous Initiatives at the University of Alberta intends to host crowdcasted sessions with a variety of media. With this format, hosts and artists will have the flexibility to fully engage with participants through live broadcasting and q&a sessions.

Utilizing his cooking skills and online presence, Chef Scott Jonathan Iserhoff will be hosting virtual and in-person cooking classes with an emphasis on Indigenous cuisine and foods. Participants will be provided the resources required to participate in the classes, and videos will be shared online for future visitors.

Delving into the untold history of Indigenous music, podcaster Trent Agecoutay and musician Leanne Goose will shine a light on an important aspect of Indigenous culture from the 1960’s forward. By engaging in a number of interviews and storytelling, Thicker Than Blood will not only explore history, but open doors to a new future for young Indigenous musicians.


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