“My queer identity is not a linear spectrum, it’s a whole spectrum. It allows movement, and there’s space within that circle to exist, and breathe, and shift.”
Indigenous Queer performer and poet Midnight Wolverine guides us through Humber River, Yonge-Dundas Square, and Glad Day Bookshop to envision futures connected to the history of the land, ceremony, and queerness, in a city that sits in tension with their Indigeneity.
Midnight Wolverine is Tkaronto’s late night tease, trickster and shapeshifter. Originally from Treaty 8 territory in the Northwest Territories, they are a Dene/Métis Indigiqueer drag and burlesque performer, writer, artist, creator, and storyteller working to decolonize performance spaces, challenge common Indigenous and gender narratives, and create much needed two-spirit representation. They have politicized and sexified stages nationally, including the Fierce Queer International Burlesque Festival, Bagel Burlesque Expo Montreal, Asinabka Festival, Pride Toronto, and Pride Yukon. They have also been featured on CBC Gem’s Canada’s A Drag Season 3 and CBC’s q with Tom Power.
Midnight Wolverine is joined by Indigenous architect Matthew Hickey. The conversation flows naturally between queerness and Indigeneity, as they go deeper into the role of Indigenous place-keeping for urban futures, carving pockets of belonging and the act of “building” into their practices, reconnecting with nature, and even co-designing their dream Indigiqueer space in the city.
Matthew Hickey is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. He has been practicing architecture at Two Row Architect for 14 years, and currently oversees design and development for the firm, which focuses on guiding the realignment of mainstream ways of thinking towards Indigenous ways of knowing and being in design and architecture.
Matthew’s focus for sustainability is on regenerative and restorative design – encompassing ecological, cultural, and economic principles. His work pushes the concepts of Universal Inclusivity through integrated landscapes, food equity, the importance of water and place-keeping for all species, including humans. His research includes Indigenous history in architecture of Northern & Middle America, and the realignment of western ideology towards historic sustainable technologies for the contemporary North American climate.