Media Releases

Indigenous leaders in sexual diversity named recipients of 2017 University of Toronto Bonham Centre Awards

April 5, 2017

Toron­to, ON – The Mark S. Bon­ham Cen­tre for Sex­u­al Diver­si­ty Stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has announced the recip­i­ents of their 2017 awards, which will be pre­sent­ed at a gala cer­e­mo­ny at Hart House in Toron­to on April 26.

“This year’s Bon­ham Cen­tre Awards recip­i­ents have been cho­sen to high­light the his­to­ry and lead­ing con­tri­bu­tions of Indige­nous peo­ple in rec­og­niz­ing sex­u­al and gen­der diver­si­ty. As Cana­da pre­pares to cel­e­brate 150 years since con­fed­er­a­tion we thought it cru­cial to focus on Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties that pre­date Euro­pean set­tle­ment,” said Bren­da Coss­man, Direc­tor of the Bon­ham Cen­tre at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege and a Pro­fes­sor in the Fac­ul­ty of Law. “We are hon­oured this year to rec­og­nize Lee Mar­a­cle, Kent Monkman, Can­dy Palmater, and Ted­dy Syrette, who have fought to include Indige­nous world­views in con­ver­sa­tions of gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty.”

Lee Mar­a­cle is an award-win­ning author and teacher of the Sto:Loh nation who has been an impor­tant ally for two spir­it­ed peo­ple at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and well beyond.

Kent Monkman is a lead­ing Cana­di­an artist of Cree ances­try who works with a vari­ety of media, includ­ing paint­ing, film/video, per­for­mance, and instal­la­tion. His recent exhi­bi­tion, “Shame and Prej­u­dice: A Sto­ry of Resilience,” has drawn rave reviews and brought atten­tion to Indige­nous per­spec­tives on colo­nial Cana­di­an his­to­ry.

Can­dy Palmater is a queer Mi’kmaw activist, actor, writer, inter­na­tion­al speak­er, and award-win­ning TV and radio per­son­al­i­ty.

Ted­dy Syrette, an out­spo­ken Indige­nous, Queer, First Nation per­son of Batchewana First Nation of the Ojib­way peo­ples whose work includes advo­ca­cy, com­mu­ni­ty build­ing, and the arts.

The Bon­ham Cen­tre is proud to part­ner with RBC as the Pre­sent­ing Spon­sor for the 2017 Bon­ham Cen­tre Awards Gala. The Bon­ham Cen­tre Awards are giv­en annu­al­ly in recog­ni­tion of sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the pub­lic under­stand­ing of sex­u­al diver­si­ty.

More infor­ma­tion about the Awards and the gala is avail­able at

The Mark S. Bon­ham Cen­tre for Sex­u­al Diver­si­ty Stud­ies offers an under­grad­u­ate pro­gram, a col­lab­o­ra­tive grad­u­ate pro­gram, hosts aca­d­e­m­ic and com­mu­ni­ty events, and pro­motes research into sex­u­al­i­ty. It is a hub for forg­ing con­nec­tions among fac­ul­ty, under­grad­u­ates, grad­u­ate stu­dents, and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers inter­est­ed in ques­tions about how we under­stand sex­u­al diver­si­ty and sex­u­al prac­tices.

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Media Con­tact:

Alex Wells
Pro­gram Assis­tant