Cathi Charles Wherry

Indigenous/First Nation Association(s): 

Cathi Charles Wherry is Anishinaabekwe and a member of the Rama Mnjikaning First Nation (Ontario), where her Father was born. Her Mother’s ancestors crossed the ocean from England five generations ago. Since 1979 she has lived on beautiful Coast Salish territory, and now lives in WSANEC with her husband Andy.


A graduate of the Visual Arts Program at Camosun College (1991), Cathi also holds a BFA with Honours in Studio Arts from the University of Victoria (1994). In all of her mixed media and installation work she strives to realize a balanced expression of this training and the Anishinaabemowin that resides in her memory and bones. As a visual artist Cathi has participated in numerous group shows, and has had three solo exhibitions. Through her work she attempts to illuminate unseen stories, threads of time, and the spirit of materials and place. Cathi is also a writer and curator, with projects that include: invincible spirit (1995), earthy gestures (2001), and Transporters – Contemporary Salish Art (2007). She served on the Kakaekwewin Aboriginal Advisory for Canada Council from 2010-2013.


From 1996 - 2018 Cathi served as Art Programs Manager for the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, a First Nations directed organization that supports First Nations and Indigenous languages, arts and cultures in British Columbia. For 22 years she devoted herself to advocacy, and developing and delivering funding programs, resources and strategic initiatives to support the vitality of Indigenous arts. She now occupies a new position as Special Advisor with First Peoples' Cultural Council.

Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal - 2012