Tag Archives: Aboriginal Voices Gallery

Thanks Justin Bieber, For Letting Us Clear Up Some Confusion

25 Jul

If you’re a fan of pop star Justin Bieber (or even if you’re not), you may have heard that he recently remarked, “I’m actually part Indian,” he says — “I think Inuit or something? I’m enough percent that in Canada I can get free gas.” Since we just recently opened our Aboriginal Voices Gallery here in order to showcase First Nations and Metis art along with that made by Inuit, this little snippet got us talking here about how it might be time to delve a little deeper into these issues and try to clear up some of the confusion regarding Aboriginal status in Canada.

In Canada, there are three distinct groups of Aboriginal peoples: Inuit, First Nations and Metis. Each is culturally, linguistically and legally different. Bieber here is talking about Inuit and First Nations (Indian is still the legal term for First Nations peoples), so let’s start there:

Inuit and First Nations peoples have very different histories and lifestyles. As one example, there is only one legal category assigned to Inuit, while First Nations peoples are divided into two: status and non-status. Status Indians are entitled to the rights and benefits outlined in treaties, while non-status Indians are not.

These rights and benefits are often directly linked to reservations. Another difference between Inuit and First Nations peoples is that Inuit have never lived on reservations while some First Nations peoples have and still do today. Living on a reservation does give some First Nations peoples certain tax exemptions because their reservations are legally separate from the surrounding provinces in which they are located. Contrary to Bieber’s belief, though, this does not entitle anyone to free gas: it may entitle some First Nations peoples with status cards the ability not to pay taxes on gas they purchase on their reservations. But they still need to pay for the gas, and so does Justin Bieber.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting more information about our Aboriginal Voices Gallery and Christian Morrisseau’s artwork, which will mean we will continue to discuss aspects of First Nations history and culture. But thanks to Justin Bieber, we could get the ball rolling today.

Posted by Alysa Procida, MIA’s Director of Education, Operations and Outreach

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New Gallery, New Installation!

8 Jul

Getting our new Aboriginal Voices Gallery set up for a new exhibition!

Exciting exhibition news! This week marks the beginning of both a new gallery AND a new installation at MIA!

In a few days we will officially be opening Christian Morrisseau: New Directions 2010-2012 in our new Aboriginal Voices Gallery, but in the meantime we thought it would be pretty cool to show you how we’re setting everything up.

Some of our “Tweet Peeks”. Can you guess what some of these images are?

In case you missed our Tweets and Facebook updates, the first step in our installation process was to tease you all with photos. We even made up a game where we show you a close up image of one of Christian Morrisseau’s paintings and have you guess what kind of woodlands creature it might be. A few of you got the right answers, but now it’s time to more or less officially reveal exactly what we’ll be exhibiting.

Our latest installation features the work of Woodlands artist Christian Morrisseau and represents an important moment in his artistic career. As the son of legendary painter Norval Morrisseau, Christian was introduced to painting by prepping the background scenes for his father. Years later, his contribution to the Woodlands School comes from not only continuing his father’s legacy examining the use of colour in Aboriginal art. This MIA exhibition has grouped several of his works into colour combinations – each representing a different theme such as family or healing.

Movers installing “Bringing Kyle Home” (2012) by Christian Morrisseau, Keewaywin, acrylic on canvas, Private Collection on loan to MIA

And these paintings are HUGE!
So big in fact that we couldn’t put all of Christian’s colour themed paintings together in one place – well, at least not in one physical space…
Which leads us to another thing we here at the museum have been teasing our readers about.
Remember how weeks and weeks ago I, your pesky intern, started dropping hints about a new tech toy we had been experimenting with? Well, this exhibition will be the first time that MIA incorporates AR (Augmented Reality) into our exhibitions!!

Since Christian’s paintings are so big and we wanted to make sure you got a chance to see as many you could, we’re using AR to display virtual versions of his work. As you move throughout the exhibition, you’ll be able to wave your smartphone in front of his paintings and access additional works from his colour series, audio interview clips between Christian Morrisseau and MIA staffer Alysa Procida, and progress images that show his painting process.

While we’re still setting up the space you’ll be able to watch as we do the heavy lifting in order to get the physical space all set up for the show. For more images be sure to visit our Flickr page and brand new Instagram account (our username is miamuseum).

Movers installing “Keewaywin First Nation Chief Joe Meekis” (2012) by Christian Morrisseau, Keewaywin, acrylic on canvas, Private Collection on loan to MIA

– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant