Interview with Christi Belcourt & Isaac Murdoch

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to present this episode the 9th installation in a series of interviews featuring participants and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse.  

"All I want to do is give everything I have, my energy, my love, my labour – all of it in gratitude for what we are given. I’ll never be able to give back enough. My love for this world overwhelms me. My love for this world, and my love for everyone and everything is what drives me." -Christi Belcourt

#callresponse Artist Project Details:

Christi Belcourt's project is to work with traditional teacher and collaborator Isaac Murdoch to hold ceremony with plants and animals as her community with The Onaman Collective. Just as the natural world is depicted symbolically as medicine in her work through the act of painting she aims to take action in an effort to restore balance as a human being amongst many living beings. Her project stems from the believe that we as people are not ready for reconciliation. She does not consider the first step towards reconciliation as starting between native and non­natives but rather as something that needs to take place between humans and the plants and animals. Pronounced ah­nah­min, The Onaman Collective was formed in 2014 by Isaac Murdoch, Christi Belcourt and Erin Konsmo out of their deep care for youth and the future of community. The collective was formed for the express purpose of finding ways to connect youth to land, traditional knowledge, language and Elders through art and land­based activities. 


Christi Belcourt (b. 1966) is a Michif (Metis) visual artist and author whose ancestry originates from the Metis historic community of Manitou Sakhigan (Lac Ste. Anne) Alberta, Canada. Raised in Ontario, Christi is the first of three children born to political Indigenous rights leader Tony Belcourt and Judith Pierce Martin. Her brother Shane Belcourt is a respected filmmaker and her sister Suzanne is a graphic designer and emerging visual artist. Christi Belcourt is the author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007) and Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010), Christi’s work is found within the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall. Christi is a past recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Family Fund and the Métis Nation of Ontario. In 2014 she was named Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council and shortlisted for the Premier’s Award. She is currently the lead coordinator for lking With Our Sisters. 

Visit Christi Belcourt's Website


 Isaac Murdoch , whose Ojibway name is Manzinapkinegego’anaabe / Bombgiizhik is from the fish clan and is from Serpent River First Nation. Isaac grew up in the traditional setting of hunting, fishing and trapping. Many of these years were spent learning from Elders in the northern regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Isaac is well respected as a storyteller and traditional knowledge holder. For many years he has led various workshops and cultural camps that focuses on the transfer of knowledge to youth. Other areas of expertise include: traditional ojibway paint, imagery/symbolism, harvesting, medicine walks, & ceremonial knowledge, cultural camps, Anishinaabeg oral history, birch bark canoe making, birch bark scrolls, Youth & Elders workshops, etc. He has committed his life to the preservation of Anishinaabe cultural practices and has spent years learning directly from Elders.

Issac Murdoch. Onaman Collective.

Issac Murdoch. Onaman Collective.