Stats and Stories
Our grants making a difference

Dennis Shorty

Program and component
Creating, Knowing and Sharing, Short-Term Projects

Community
Ross River, Yukon

Field of practice
Multidisciplinary Arts

Grant amount
$57,965

Fiscal year
2019–20

Yukon Elder Helps Community Heal Through Stories 

A group of adults and children making drums.
Drum making workshop Photo: Jennifer Frohling

As an Elder, Yukon artist Dennis Shorty is helping members of his community heal by sharing stories, language and his distinctive artistic techniques.

Art workshops for the next generation

Born and raised in Ross River, Yukon, Dennis Shorty is a full-time multimedia artist and member of the Kaska First Nation. He works in antler, copper, horn, wood, acrylic painting and more, honouring animals through his carvings. His work has been shown in private, national, and international art collections. Shorty has also been teaching for the past 10 years. He runs art workshops to preserve traditional knowledge, pass on his artistic practices to the next generation, and bring healing to his community.

The healing powers of art

Art and language have helped Shorty, a residential school survivor, through trauma—and now, he hopes his art workshops for community members will support them in their struggles. With his partner, Jennifer, he has taught drum-making, antler carving, wooden mask carving, copper jewellery making and acrylic painting, as well as offering drumming workshops. In 2019–20, a Canada Council grant helped ensure Shorty could continue to offer these workshops to his community.

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Tagged As Stats and Stories Multidisciplinary Arts Creating, Knowing and Sharing Short-Term Projects Yukon