Being one of the biggest nations in the world with the largest native population, Canada and it’s developments towards reconciliation and decolonization is something to pay attention to… According to Simon Brault, CEO of the Canadian Council of the Arts, it is an important time for the Inuit and Metis (both Canadian indigenous communities), as he points out during the revelation of the Councils’ Indigenous Art Awards. More and more examples of recognition for indigenous art and artists can be found around the world, whether it was last years’ first time exhibit of Inuit art during the Venice Biennale or the inclusion of indigenous history during the Punctured Landscapes exhibit in Washington, raising topics like denial of human rights, colonialism, sexual abuse and environmental damage.
In his speech, Brault goes on by emphasizing the importance of artists as the storytellers of our time:
” Through words, images, music, dance and theatre, they question accepted narratives. They shape how we understand our existence. How we walk this Earth, what we value and how we interact with each other. Their stories may challenge. They may be uncomfortable. But their stories – your stories – must be told. And we, as a society, must listen.”
Statements like these should clarify his and the Canadian Councils’ decision to invest more money into indigenous art and culture in the future, of which this years’ REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards, with grants at a total value of 1.5 billion dollar, is a very clear statement. The Awards should support the 150 winners on their own terms to fully carry out their attempts to express humanity in all its complexity. To foster resilience, and to build a true nationhood.
One of the winners is Caroline Monnet, film- and documentary-maker from Ottawa and Metis-woman. Being a woman of indigenous decent, Monnet is constantly researching the implications of her background, in one of her projects she brought together 10 indigenous women to talk about this and made a video about it:
If you wanne see more exmaples of REVEAL artists, you can see the full list of winners here.