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