Ronnie Dean Harris
aka Ostwelve is a Stō:lo/St’át’imc/Nlaka’pamux multimedia artist based in Vancouver, BC. He got his start with professional graphic design at the age of 14 after submitting a design to a Vancouver-based skateboard company “Arson” and got this design printed. In the same year he began co-hosting the “When Spirits Whisper” radio show along side Gunargie O’Sullivan on Co-op Radio 100.5 FM (formerly 102.7 FM).
In the past years he’s worked on number of projects, most prominently as an actor and composer for APTN/Showcase dramatic series “Moccasin Flats” for two seasons as a performer and a lead character, and in the subsequent film project “Moccasin Flats: Redemption” in 2007. As well, he was the lead composer for APTN children’s Cree language series “Nehiyawetan: Let’s Speak Cree”.
In the spring of 2011, he was hired as Content Manager for RPM.fm, an Indigenous music culture website based out of Vancouver. The website focuses on bringing the latest of Indigenous music culture to its audience, as well as a podcast series of which he was the host. The podcast was selected as the recipient of the United Nations DPI Gold Medal as well as being awarded a Silver Medal in the Culture & The Arts, Audio Podcast category at the New York Festivals Awards. Most recently he has been working as a researcher and writer for multiple TV, film and media arts projects.
As a musician under the name Ostwelve, Ron has performed in numerous festivals and has opened for acts such as Guru, K’naan, Abstract Rude and Snoop Dogg to name a few. Ron has also had the opportunity to perform as a part of the red diva projects ensemble project “The Road Forward” at the 2014 PuSh Festival in Vancouver. At the same time Ron was a part of the performance installation “Sometimes I Think I Can See You”, curated by Mario Pensotti, also a part of the PuSh Festival. He also rejoined the ensemble of “The Road Forward” in 2015/16 to shoot a National Film Board Documentary based on the production. He continues to tour and is writing a new album project due out in 2017.
In the last 10 years Ronnie has also been very active in facilitating and creating workshop programs for youth empowerment in media arts and hip-hop. He has worked with “All Nations Healin’ Thru Artz” in Regina and helped to create “InDigital”, an initiative focused on creating job training for Indigenous youth in the technology industries. More recently he’s worked with “Boldskool”, a hip-hop/theatre workshop created by urban ink productions based out of Vancouver, BC, and Metaphor, where he entered the Burnaby Youth Custody Services Centre to work with youth on expression through writing and hip-hop culture. He also spent a number of years as a cultural programmer with the W2 Community Arts Society and the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival.
Currently he is working as the Program Director for “Reframing Relations” with the Community Arts Council of Vancouver delivering programming for indigenous and non-indigenous artists to interface with students and youth in schools and communities around the concept of reconciliation.
Most recently, Ronnie is featured in the National Film Board musical documentary “The Road Forward”, directed by Marie Clements. https://www.nfb.ca/film/road_forward/