New WAG Exhibit Acknowledges Residential School Legacy while Highlighting Strength
Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 17, 2016: Winding its way through three levels of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Qua'yuk tchi'gae'win: Making Good acknowledges the residential school legacy and colonial trauma, but also reveals an enduring strength, resiliency, and courage through art. The exhibition opened this past weekend to coincide with the Pathways to Reconciliation conference and runs until fall.
In Anishnaabemowin, qua’yuk tchi’gae’win means “the honour of righting a wrong.” In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, the exhibit shares experiences of Indigenous and intergenerational survivors from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as well as intercultural perspectives for a broader Canadian narrative.
“The residential school system affected more than seven generations of people through forced separation from family and cultural traditions,” states Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “Located on Treaty No. 1 territory, the WAG is honoured to exhibit art that acknowledges the harms and mistakes of the past, as we work to move forward with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration. Partnering with the Pathways to Reconciliation conference, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the University of Manitoba School of Art, and The Elders and Advisory Council has helped bring this important exhibition to life, adding to the dialogue in Winnipeg and across the country.”
Qua'yuk tchi'gae'win: Making Good brings together pieces from the WAG’s permanent collection by artists including Kudluajuk Ashoona, Carl Beam, Leah Decter, Rosalie Favell, Lita Fontaine, Robert Houle, Simon Hughes, Alex Janvier, Jessie Oonark, Jane Ash Poitras, Miriam Qiyuk, David Ruben Piqtoukun, and Arthur Renwick. The exhibition also presents works loaned from the University of Manitoba, and incorporates related archival collections from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
“The exhibition honours Indigenous voices and recognizes that historical narratives that have systematically concealed residential schools and colonial injustices from public consciousness,” states Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Contemporary and Indigenous Art, and exhibition curator. “Artists confront colonial interests, trauma, and resulting intergenerational effects addressing the importance of family connections, language, and lived reclamation, all while illustrating courage, strength, and resiliency of Indigenous survival and presence.”
“The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is honoured to collaborate with the WAG in bringing these important narratives to life through connecting compelling messages from the artists and the courageous survivor’s testimonies from the NCTR archives,” states Charlene Bearhead, Education Lead, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. “Qua'yuk tchi'gae'win provides a unique experience for delegates to the Pathways to Reconciliation Conference as they come together in Winnipeg, from across Canada, to explore next steps in this journey from truth to reconciliation.”
Guided drop-in tours for Qua'yuk tchi'gae'win: Making Good are offered free with admission on July 17, August 14, and September 17. An Art for Lunch talk will be held September 14 with WAG curator Jaimie Isaac.
The WAG is grateful for the support of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, The Elders and Advisory Council, and the University of Manitoba School of Art.
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