The title of the calendar is we are all related, a traditional Lakota saying that captures the depth of connections between Americans and Canadians, especially between the indigenous citizens of both countries. The artwork varies from straight up paintings and sculptures to cyanotypes and hand-made dolls with many other forms of art and creative expression in between.
Bonnie Devine is member of Ontario’s Serpent River Anishinaabe First Nation and an associate professor and founding chair of OCAD U’s Indigenous Visual Culture Program (INVC), and was instrumental in bringing the IAIA artists to Toronto as part of a U.S. Embassy grant. During a presentation at OCAD U where the American artists showed more of their work she said, “We wanted to talk about the fact that indigenous people and their relationships with one another transcend national identity.”
A reception was held in honor of the American and Canadian artists where Dr. Duke Redbird of the INVC gave a traditional greeting and U.S. Consul General Jim Dickmeyer commented to the crowd gathered that such collaborations as this project reminded him why he loved being involved in diplomacy.
“To have the opportunity to participate in this kind of exchange of talent and energy and all that you’re putting together here,” he said.
He echoed OCAD U President Sara Diamond’s wish for a commitment to continue this relationship and all the artists welcomed the opportunity to meet fellow creative minds and learn from each other. Click here to learn more about IAIA, and go to ocadu.ca to learn about OCAD U’s INVC.