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Artists / Artwork

Keesic Douglas

From his website:  "Keesic Douglas is an Ojibway artist from the Mnjikaning First Nation in central Ontario, Canada. He specializes in the mediums of photography and video. His work has been exhibited both across Canada and internationally. Keesic focuses on sharing his unique perspective based on his Aboriginal heritage in his photo and video work."

Paul (Lawrence) Yuxweluptun

From the VanArt Gallery website:  Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Nationality: Canadian, Born: 1957, Kamloops, BC.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun was born in Kamloops, B.C. in 1957, though he spent most of his adolescence in the Vancouver area. His father is from Cowichan Salish and his mother is from the Okanagan.

He was active in various art courses in high school and after graduation, enrolled at Emily Carr College from 1978 through 1983.  While at Emily Carr, Yuxweluptun was influenced by Don Jarvis, Ken Wallance, Sylvia Scott, Bruce Boyd and Bill Featherston.

Much of the content of his work is derived from contemporarty Native social and political issues. His father at one time was President of the North American Indian Brotherhood and his mother was Executive Director of the Indian Homemakers Association.

Most of his work has been large scale acrylic on canvas pieces with brush and/or a palette knife. He makes use of vivd colours and his work represents a positive aesthetic impression as well as expression of content that is often bi-cultural. In his work, he uses Coast Salish cosmology, Northwest Coast formal design elements and the Western landscape tradition.

Annie Pootoogook

From the website Feheley Fine Arts: "Annie Pootoogook began drawing in 1997 under the encouragement of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative in Cape Dorset. She quickly developed a preference for drawing scenes from her own life, and became a prolific graphic artist in the intervening years.  In 2003, Annie's first print was released: an etching and aqua-tint drawn by the artist on a copper plate. The image entitled "Interior and Exterior," is a memory of the artist's childhood, lovingly recording the particulars of settlement life in Cape Dorset in the 1970s."

Kent Monkman

From the website: "Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation. He has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton."

Kenojuak Ashevak

The National Film Board of Canada, John Feeney, 1963, 19 min. 49 s

From the website: "This film shows how an Inuit artist's drawings are transferred to stone, printed and sold. Kenojuak Ashevak became the first woman involved in the printmaking co-operative in Cape Dorset. This film was nominated for the 1963 Documentary Short Subject Oscar."

Carl Beam

From The Neon Raven Gallery, representing Carl Beam's Art: Carl Beam R.C.A. (May 24, 1943 – July 30, 2005), born Carl Edward Migwans, made Canadian art history as the first artist of Native Ancestry (Ojibwe), to have his work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada as Contemporary Art. A major retrospective of his work, mounted by the National Gallery of Canada, is on exhibition starting October 22, 2010, recognizing Beam as one of Canada's most important artists. He worked in various photographic mediums, mixed media, oil, acrylic, spontaneously scripted text on canvas, works on paper, Plexiglas, stone, cement, wood, handmade ceramic pottery, and found objects, in addition to etching, lithography, and screen process.

Louie Gong

From the Eighth Generation Website: Louis Gong is an artist and activist who merges Coast Salish art and influences from his mixed heritage to make bold statements about his identity. His art, socail commentary and workshops have been featured in numerous media, including Unreserved: The Work of Louie Gong, a documentary that screened at Festival des Cannes.

Louis Gong writes: The name “Eighth Generation” references the inter-tribal concept of “seven generations,” which tells us that we should consider the consequences of our decisions seven generations into the future.  I recognize that I’m standing on a foundation made stable and rich with stories because of my ancestor’s good decisions and sacrifices.  By naming my business Eighth Generation, I hope to ensure that this perspective is embedded in all my work.

Unreserved: The Work of Louis Gong (Trailer)

Kim Picard

From Kim Picard's website:  "Kim Picard is an Aboriginal Fashion Designer from Pessamit First Nations community. She is born from a Montagnais (Innu) mother and an Algonquin/Mohawk father. She has been living in Montreal for 15 years, she received a Fashion Design degree from LaSalle College in Montreal in 1997. Kim has worked for various companies, such as Natural Furs with Native Designer Darcy Moses, Native Innovation Designs, NTD Apparel, which specializes in movie character licenses, Roots Canada, Helene DeGranpré Haute-Couture, and many more… She also won some awards at the provincial and international levels. Picard took a sabbatical from the fashion industry for 4 years and worked for Quebec Native Women’s association as the Youth Coordinator."  (Secondary students and up).

Nike Gets It Right; Brand Collaborates With O’odham Designer

This article documents a collaboration between Nike and Salt River tribal member Dwayne Manuel to produce sneakers as part of Nike's Superbowl shoe collection. This article is written by Adrienne Keene, a Cherokee Nation citizen and a postdoctoral researcher with a life mission to provide a critical lens on representations of Native peoples.

Winnipeg Art Gallery presents groundbreaking aboriginal art

CBC, May 9, 2014

Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. opens at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Looking to Norval Morrisseau's art to indigenize Canadian city planning

Spacing, February 5, 2014

Norval Morriseau and the urban landscape.

Legends Project: Gwich'in Legends

CBC, October 26 2009. 

Art Programs

Aboriginal Visual Culture Program

Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) postsecondary program. 


ArtsLink: Residential School Artists

“The ArtsLink Project is funded through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada to promote awareness and public education of the personal history and legacy of individual former students of the residential schools in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia. It seeks to address both the truth‐telling and reconciliation fostering components of the TRC's mandate.ArtsLink is a showcase to promote the art work and cultural practices of residential school survivors.

The ArtsLink website shares the wisdom, the stories and insights of residential school survivors from the Western Provinces who have reclaimed their identity and pride through art and culture. Each webpage includes a biography, a short video interview with the artist, samples of art work and documents, innovative arts and learning practices, and community arts projects.”



Books & Anthologies

The Exile Book of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama

by Daniel David Moses, 2011.

Staging Coyote's Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English

by Monique Mojica and Ric Knowles, 2003.

Staging Coyote's Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English, Vol. 2

by Monique Mojica and Richard Paul Knowles, 2009.

Honouring Tradition: Reframing Native Art

By Beth Carter, Quyen Hoang, Gerald T. Conaty and Frederick R. McDonald, 2008

Film & Video

Canada’s Visual History. 

National Film Board of Canada, 1997. (72 mins)
“The images included in the collection are a unique assembly of archival photos, rare paintings and drawings, and original charts and maps.” (National Film Board of Canada)

Expressions of Aboriginal Youth

The video from Access to Media Education Society, 2004 (19:55 mins) can be found in three parts on Youtube: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

From the Expressions of Aboriginal Youth Resource Guide website: "This guide is designed to bring issues affecting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people into the classroom in a manner that speaks directly to youth. Built around the work of three emerging First Nations video artists, this piece explores the role video is playing in helping Native youth recover their culture and develop a powerful voice."

The Living Stone

National Film Board of Canada, 1958, 32 min. 35 s

From the Website: “This documentary shows the inspiration behind Inuit sculpture. The Inuit approach to the work is to release the image the artist sees imprisoned in the rough stone. The film centres on an old legend about the carving of the image of a sea spirit to bring food to a hungry camp.” 

I Can Make Art...Like Andrew Qappik

National Film Board of Canada, By Jane Churchill, 2005, 11 min. 24 s

From Website: "This short documentary is a portrait of Andrew Qappik, a world-renowned Inuit printmaker from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Originally inspired by images in the comic books he read as a child, Andrew now finds his subjects in the stories, traditions and day-to-day events of his world.

Zacharias Kunuk 

From the Isuma TV website: "b. 1957, Kapuivik, near Igloolik) won the Camera d'Or at Cannes 2001 for Isuman's first feature, Atanarjuat The Fast Runner.  He is president of Igloolik Isuma Productions, Canada's first Inuit-owned, independent, production company, co-founded in 1990 with the late Paul Akpak, the last Pauloosie Qulitalik and Norman Cohn.


Galleries and Museums

Art Gallery of Ontario

Aboriginal Art Topics at the AGO

From the website: One of the distinguishing features of the Canadian Collection is arguably the world’s most important collection of contemporary Inuit art, with an emphasis on work produced in Canada since 1948. Among the more than 5,000 objects in the Gallery’s holdings are some 2,800 sculptures, 1,300 prints, 700 drawings and a selection of wall hangings. The AGO’s current focus is on new works, especially those that express the current state of affairs in the far North.

The Canadian department is also actively expanding the scope of its collection to include historical First Nations art. Exemplary objects include an Anishnaabe artist’s Gunstock Club from the early 1800s, which in 2002 became the AGO’s first major acquisition of Ontario’s First Nations heritage, and a Haida artist’s Sea Captain, c. 1840, acquired in 2008. Acquisitions of works such as Model Totem Pole by acclaimed 20th-century First Nations sculptor Bill Reid signalled an initiative to increase Aboriginal representation at the AGO.

Museum of Inuit Art (MIA)

From the MIA's website:  " The Museum of Inuit Art, serves as a non-profit, permanent museum whose primary function is to ethically acquire, conserve, research, communicate and exhibit for the purpose of studym, educationm and enjoyment, material evidence of the history of Inuit art and culture in the Canadian Arctic."

The MIA is located in Toronto, southern Canada's only public museum devoted exclusively to the display of art made by Inuit, offers school visits and educational programs, and publishes a semi-annual magazine devoted to the museum, its collections and its visitors. 

Bear Claw Gallery

A great site to view pictures of contemporary Aboriginal art and crafts. Includes artist and regional origin of each object.

Ed Flash McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Beginning in 2013, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will be celebrating the art and culture of the Inuit people of Cape Dorset (Kinngait) in the Northern territory of Nunavut with three distinct exhibitions and our new Aboriginal Winter Celebration. 
The gallery offers students the opportunities to:
  • view original artwork, including prints, drawings, and sculptures, while learning about the lives and traditions of the Inuit people. 
  • tour with the Inuit print-making studio for a full-day educational experience or book one of the new Aboriginal Winter Celebration programs.
Please visit the following links for complete information on exhibitions:
Also, available for a limited time only during January, February, and March 2013:

A Tribute to Kenojuak Ashevak

The National Gallery of Canada

Aboriginal Art in the Collection of Indigenous Art

The National Gallery of Canada’s Collection of Indigenous Art includes First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks, with an emphasis on contemporary art from 1980 to the present day. The National Gallery of Canada has collected works by Aboriginal artists since the early 20th century.

The Virtual Museum of Métis Art and Culture

From their website:  "This website is the most comprehensive attempt to chronicle traditional Métis history and culture on the World Wide Web and contains a wealth of primary documents – oral history interviews, photographs and various archival documents – in visual, audio and video files. In addition, many of our proven resources such as Steps in Time and Gabriel Dumont: Métis Legend have also been added to this site. Finally, new material, suitable for general information and for educators, has also been commissioned for The Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture."

The Aboriginal Curatorial Collective

From the website: The Aboriginal Curatorial Collective / Collectif des Conservateurs Authochtone (ACC/CCA) supports, promotes and advocates on behalf of First Nations (Indian, Inuit and Métis) art, artists, curators, and representatives of arts and cultural organizations in Canada and internationally.

The Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

From their website: Since 1979, the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver Ltd has offered a museum-quality collection of masterwork Inuit and Northwest Coast art in the heart of Gastown. We carry a tradition of presenting important exhibitions of Canadian aboriginal art, featuring new works by senior artists and exploring the work of the talented next generation of artists.

Museum of Anthropology Collection Online (UBC)

Museum of Anthropology Blog

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is world-renowned for its collections, research, teaching, public programs, and community connections. It is also acclaimed for its spectacular architecture and unique setting on the cliffs of Point Grey.

Allen Sapp Gallery: Through the Eyes of the Cree

This website provides access to the paintings in the Allen Sapp Gallery/Gonor Collection in North Battleford, SK.  The website also provides links to interviews with Cree elders, Allen Sapp performing songs from his childhood and the extensive "Allen Sapp's Art - Teacher's Resource Guide".

Allen Sapp's Art - Teacher's Resource Guide

This 150 page Teacher Resource Guide includes traditional teachings, biographical material, reproductions of Allen Sapp's paintings and accompanying lesson plans.

Allen Sapp Gallery: The Gonor Collection

This website provides access to the paintings in the Allen Sapp Gallery/Gonor Collection in North Battleford, SK.


Lesson Plans

Gestures and Movement in Aboriginal Dance
Grade 7; Intermediate
Ontario Ministry of Education - Students interpret gestures and movements used in Aboriginal dances, verify their interpretations through research, and create a presentation to show what they have learned. Sensitivity, Cultural differences, Oral communication.

My Own Blanket
(Grades K-4) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts, Math.

Norval Morriseau X-Ray Painting
(Grade 3 to 8) Students will learn about artist Norval Morrisseau as they create an x-ray painting in the Eastern Woodland Style.

First Nations Oral Traditions
(Grades 4+) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Drama.

Examining Folklore
(Grades 4+) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Dance.

Story Telling
(Grades 4+) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Drama.

Who Am I?
(Grades 4-6) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts.

The Medicine Wheel and Seven Stages of Life:  Ojibwe Nation Lesson Plan
(Grades 7-9) Additional Strands: Geography, Natural Science, Botany, Astronomy, Art.

National Gallery of Canada
(All grades) Lesson plans based on Canadian contemporary Aboriginal art. 

A Critical Challenge Approach to Aboriginal Art
(Any Grade) Subject Strands: Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts.

Contemporary Inuit Sculpture
From the website:
 "This lesson plan focuses on contemporary Inuit sculpture, dating from 1973. It presents the diverse thematic and aesthetic approaches to art making in the North." (Level Intermediate/Senior)

Using First Nations Literature in the Classroom
From the website:
 "This unit consists of four sections. Each section begins with a chart that summarizes the objectives that will be covered in that particular section as well as what types of activities will be used to achieve the listed objectives. Following the summary chart, you will find a description of the activity, samples of how charts (templates) are to be completed and links to any templates."  The website suggests that these lesson plans can be adapted to literature from any culture, so long as the literary resources are available.  From Saskatchewan.



Lessons From the Earth: Storytelling, Art & Indigenous Knowledge Teacher Resource Kit - Primary Grades

"Lessons From the Earth is a resource guide for educators that provides a practical application of Indigenous Knowledge into the classroom. The focus of learning is grounded in a traditional Anishinaabe story...Included are sample lessons and video modules that support the traditional teachings embedded within the story." Also ties into First Peoples of Canada, Science, Social Studies, Art, as well as important concepts such as love, respect and balance.

Available for your MAC or iOS device. 

Project H.O.M.E (Helping Our Mother Earth)

A mural project and tool guide for educators and students. 

Native Appropriations

A blog which discusses current appropriations of Aboriginal culture in North America.

Allen Sapp Gallery: Through the Eyes of the Cree

This website provides access to the paintings in the Allen Sapp Gallery/Gonor Collection in North Battleford, SK.  The website also provides links to interviews with Cree elders, Allen Sapp performing songs from his childhood and the extensive "Allen Sapp's Art - Teacher's Resource Guide".

Allen Sapp's Art - Teacher's Resource Guide

This 150 page Teacher Resource Guide includes traditional teachings, biographical material, reproductions of Allen Sapp's paintings and accompanying lesson plans.

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