WAG-Qaumajuq to Host Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium

Events will take place virtually from February 3-5, 2022

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty No. 1 Territory, January 24, 2022: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq is pleased to announce that the Gallery will host a virtual symposium from February 3 to 5 in the closing week of the inaugural Winnipeg Indigenous Triennial. The Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium is a trinational effort featuring Indigenous artists from Canada, Aotearoa, and Australia in discussion about topics relating to water sovereignty and solidarity.  

The symposium will feature performances, film screenings, artist panels, and keynote speakers from the three participating nations discussing environmental, political, and cultural traditions and interconnected relationships to water. 

The symposium programming is organized by Anishinaabe curator and artist Jaimie Isaac along with a team of contributors. The name Naadohbii was gifted to the exhibition by Elder Dr. Mary Courchene of Sagkeeng First Nation and member of WAG-Qaumajuq’s Indigenous Advisory Circle. The exhibition Naadohbii: To Draw Water is presented by BMO Financial Group. Symposium programming is made possible with support from the Province of Manitoba and Decolonizing Lens.

Details about the conference:  

  • WAG-Qaumajuq will host Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium virtually from Thursday, February 3 to Saturday, February 5, 2022 
  • The symposium is free to the public and entirely online at wag.ca/symposium
  • Featuring keynote speakers from Canada, Aotearoa and Australia, including Tina Ngata
  • A tri-national film screening hosted by Decolonizing Lens
  • Panel talks and an Artists in Dialogue Series. Featured artists: Jaimie Isaac, Kimberley Moulton, Rueben Friend, Ioana Gordon Smith, Jocelyn Piirainen, Tony Birch, Kat Vermette, Aimee Craft, Marianne Nicholson, Nova Paul, James Taylor, Erica Daniels, Ivy Canard, Nikau Hindin, Israel Birch, Nici Cumpston, Victoria Redsun, Rachael Rakena, Kevin Brownlee, Asinnajaq, Maria Hupfield, and Elisa Jane (Leecee) Carmichael
  • Topics will include: Naadohbii: Manitoba Community Context, Poetry from the Catalogue, Representing Water in a Global Context: The Axis of Solidarity, Water Sovereignty: between treaty and the complexity of the Indigenous /Settler relationships, Land Defenders Land Protectors and Matriarch Knowledge
  • For full information and schedule, visit the official event page
  • The Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium is a part of the first Winnipeg Indigenous Triennial and features artists from Canada, Aotearoa, and Australia in discussion on topics surrounding water
  • by Jaimie Isaac, former Curator of Indigenous & Contemporary Art, WAG-Qaumajuq; with Reuben Friend, Director, and Ioana Gordon-Smith, Curator, Pātaka Art + Museum, Wellington, New Zealand; and Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator, South Eastern Aboriginal Collections, Museums Victoria, Australia


As an International curatorial cohort, we have gathered and visited with artists in our countries, meeting over great bodies of water which have formed International relationships enabling us to curate an exhibition on water. For the exhibition and forthcoming catalog, we sought balance of country and region, narrative and language, generation and nation, material, and discipline. The artwork independently is rich but in dialogue and expressed with global complexities on the deep consideration of water, the symposium gives us a chance to further contextualize, discuss and celebrate these topics from the comfort of your screen across different time zones.” 

Jaimie Isaac, Curator of Naadohbii: To Draw Water 


“The stories and teachings of nibi are today more important than ever as the global community confronts the devastating effects of climate change. Indigenous knowledge is invaluable as we look for solutions to these very pressing and urgent matters. I am very grateful to the artists, curators and community members that are so graciously and generously sharing their knowledge at the Naadohbii Water Symposium.”  

Julia Lafreniere, Head of Indigenous Initiatives, WAG-Qaumajuq  


“I want to thank The Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq for hosting the Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium, and sharing a range of perspectives on the different environmental, political and cultural traditions and interconnected relationships to water. I encourage all Manitobans to participate in this unique opportunity to collaborate with other nations through art and to raise awareness of the relationship between water and Indigenous knowledge.” 

Alan Lagimodiere, Manitoba Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations


The WAG thanks the organizing committee for Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium. The WAG thanks Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium presenting partner BMO Financial Group and programming partners the Province of Manitoba and Decolonizing Lens.  

Associated Links  

Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium 
Naadohbii: To Draw Water exhibition 

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:  

Hanna Waswa
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Amy Rebecca Harrison
Engagement Supervisor
Winnipeg Art Gallery


The Winnipeg Art Gallery (the WAG) is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. Opened in March 2021, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG on all levels, celebrating the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. The new WAG-Qaumajuq cultural campus is now one of the largest art museums in Canada. To learn more visit wag.ca. 


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