Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Halfbreed; German/Polish)
is an interdisciplinary, community-engaged artist, a singer/songwriter and a critical thinker whose family roots are from Papaschase First Nation, amiskwaciy wâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta) and Kikino Metis Settlement, Alberta. Her work critically investigates and articulates a dynamism of nêhiyawin (Cree worldview) in contemporary time-place with a practice that incorporates Indigenous language(s), audio, video, virtual reality, the olfactory, music and audience/user participation/community engagement to create immersive environments towards ‘radical inclusion.’
As a songwriter, L’Hirondelle’s focus is on both sharing nêhiyawêwin (Cree language) and Indigenous and contemporary song-forms and personal narrative songwriting as methodologies toward survivance. She has exhibited and performed widely, both nationally and internationally.
L’Hirondelle is a recipient of the 2021 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art, two imagineNATIVE New Media Awards (2005, 2006), and two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2006, 2007). She holds a master’s degree in Design from OCAD University’s Inclusive Design program (2015) and is also a member of the OCAD University Indigenous Education Council. She is currently completing a practice-based PhD with SMARTlab/University College Dublin, Ireland. Cheryl is also the CEO of Miyoh Music Inc., an Indigenous niche music publishing company and record label and is one third of the Indigenous centred ᑭᕀ (also known as kiy collective).
L’Hirondelle’s PhD, focusses on the relationship between nêhiyawêwin (Cree language) and Gaeilge (Irish language) sound shapes and the relationship they have to the landscapes and land formations they engage with through song creation as methods for language learning and custodial land engagement.
Her PhD research is supported by the Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme Award, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council – Canada Doctoral Fellowship Award, Inspire Building Brighter Futures Post-Secondary Bursary Awards, and Ireland Canada University Foundation James M. Flaherty Research Scholarship.