Fonds SC536 - Aiyyana Maracle fonds

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Aiyyana Maracle fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Object
  • Graphic material
  • Moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1964-2016 (Creation)
    Maracle, Aiyyana, 1950-2016

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Physical description

7.59 m of textual records and other materials.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Aiyyana Maracle (1950-2016) was a transgender Haudenosaunee artist and educator, born on Six Nations territory near Grand River, Ont., to Leonard and Kitty Maracle. She was one of six children, and was assigned male at birth. After her family was evicted from the reservation—due to her father’s lack of official Indian status—they moved to Rochester, N.Y. then Buffalo, N.Y. Maracle later became estranged from her family, and spent time in Vancouver, Toronto, Chippewa territory, and Montreal. She married and had four sons before beginning her gender transition at age 40. She underwent gender reassignment surgery in Brussels in 2010, and ultimately returned to Six Nations territory with her son. She was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, which she treated with medication and therapy.

Maracle was a multi-disciplinary artist, whose art explored her experience as a First Nations person and created and directed performance art, theatre pieces, and art installations. Her performance art includes “Gender Möbius” at grunt gallery (1995) and an untitled piece at “LIVE at the End of the Century” festival (1999). In 1992 she began curating queer and Indigenous arts festivals, including The Queer Series/Two Spirit Festival (grunt gallery, 1993) and women @ the front 30th anniversary exhibition (Western Front, 2003). She won Canada Council’s 1997 John Hirsch Prize for “the most artistically exciting new director of promise in Canadian Theatre.” She was also a seamstress, filmmaker, and painter, and created her garments and sets for her performance work.

As writer, Maracle wrote an unpublished autobiography, Chronicle of a Transformed Woman, as well as plays, exhibition anthologies, and essays, such as “Journey in Gender” published in torquere (2001). She took her MFA at Goddard College (2003-2005). From 2002 to 2007, Maracle taught courses and delivered guest lectures at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Concordia University, and other Canadian and international universities. She returned to Six Nations territory in 2010 and from 2012, she co-facilitated Gender Journey, a peer support group in Brantford, Ont. She passed away at her home on April 24th, 2016.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds documents Aiyyana Maracle life and work as performance artist and writer, creator of and participant in arts festivals, her committee and conference work, scholarship, teaching, Six Nations land rights activism, transgender visibility and health projects, and personal activities. Records consist of textual records, graphic material, analog and digital sound and video recordings, and objects. Objects are comprised of garments, masks, accessories, animal bones and skins, and miscellaneous objects used in performance art and art installations. The fonds is arranged into ten series: performance art, visual art, writing, scholarship, conferences and committees, Six Nations activism, two-spirit and transgender material, notebooks and loose notes, personal records, and bibliographic records.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Jaret Maracle via Remy Huberdeau.


Textual records have been rehoused and arranged separately.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

Confidential third-party information is restricted, and requires completion of a research agreement prior to access.

Access to Files 5.1, 5.11, 8.5 requires research agreement.

Access to recordings in analogue format (film, video, audio reel, audio cassette) is restricted due to the fragility of the media. Access will be provided through digitized access copies. Very few of the items have to date been digitized; consult the Archives for more information about accessing these materials.

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Finding aids

Detailed finding aid available. Series- and subseries-level descriptions available.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Leonard and Kitty Maracle fonds (RBSC-ARC-1351) available at University of British Columbia Library Rare Books and Special Collections:

Related materials


2017-030, 2018-013, 2020-010

General note

Part of the Transgender Archive.

Physical description

10 boxes of textual records
11 boxes of physical objects and other material
2 boxes of bibliographic material

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  • English

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