WHITEHORSE—Yukon First Nations artists and Elders are participating in the seventh annual Aboriginal Curatorial Collective gathering. The gathering is called Kwä̀n Mày Dáyè Dàátthʼi, or Sit by the Fire with Us, and is taking place in Whitehorse September 28-30.
“We are pleased to welcome the Sit by the Fire with Us delegates, and to host the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective gathering in Yukon for the first time,” Minister of Tourism and Culture Elaine Taylor said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Yukon First Nations artists, curators and other arts professionals to showcase their talents and engage with their peers from across the country.”
The Aboriginal Curatorial Collective is a national arts service organization that supports, promotes and advocates on behalf of Canadian and international Aboriginal curators, critics, artists and representatives of arts and cultural organizations.
Sit by the Fire with Us was developed with input from Yukon First Nations artists in order to ensure that the event is relevant, accessible and follows local protocols. It includes special events such as a celebratory feast honouring Elder artists, a gallery crawl to exhibitions displaying Yukon First Nations artwork, and a pre-event workshop about Indigenous curatorial practices for Yukon artists and curators.
Jennifer Bowen, a Whitehorse-based curator and artist, curated two exhibits currently on display at Arts Underground. The exhibit Hands of Time: Bush Women on the Land is a group show featuring a character known to Indigenous communities as the bush woman. Bowen’s second curatorial effort is My Healing Journey with work by artist Mary Caesar.
“I am attending the conference because I believe this national group of Indigenous curators and artists from across Canada are opening spaces for dialogue through visual, performance and multi-media art,” Bowen said. “Canada is just beginning to open up to its colonial past through the Truth and Reconciliation process and I think this unique group of Indigenous curators coming to the North and sharing their contemporary arts practices with our local art communities will contribute to this national conversation.”
The Yukon Arts Centre contributed funding for the gathering through Culture Quest, and received Government of Yukon support through the Community Development Fund and the Heritage Training Fund. The Government of Yukon has also provided support for a part-time coordinator for the planning committee, and for the exhibitions of First Nations art through the Visual Art and Craft Strategy.
Learn more: Aboriginal Curatorial Collective
Communications, Tourism and Culture