Haruko Okano

I am a 75-year-old Japanese-Canadian, interdisciplinary artist. I was born in the last year of WWII to a single mother, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She passed away when I was 9 years old at which point, I became a permanent ward of the Provincial Children’s Aid Society. I’ve had a near death experience in my mid-twenties. Loss in its’ various forms is something I am familiar with. But I am here, alive and am as curious about life as I am about death and loss. I have just completed a course to begin training as a Death Doula. I have received training in reiki, all the levels into a teacher’s degree with Harue Kanamitsu and Phyllis Victory. I am a practitioner of Chi Gung, having trained for 12 years with Sifu Tchong Ta Chen who died when he was 92. As much as I am involved in holistic energy healing modalities, I continue to be involved with human rights, anti-racism and other forms of advocacy based on my continued learning about indigenous protocols of engagement both in Canada and South America. I am a member of the Gesturing Towards a Decolonial Futures Collective and Primary Colours, the Vancouver based team developing new metrics for bringing indigenous artists and their practices to the forefront of Candian Art. I am just completing a 2 year artist residency working alongside 4 other invite artsts and have just been accepted for a 4 month artist residency for 2021.

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