Art, Art Museum and Data: Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Addressing Data Bias Workshop

Presented by Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries

Join Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries for our first in-person professional development workshop of 2024.

Art, Art Museum and Data: Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Addressing Data Bias

March 28, 2024 | 9:45am – 4:15pm
Guelph Museums, 52 Norfolk St., Guelph ON

Visit our website to register

Event Description:

When an object enters an art gallery and museum collection, the data associated with that object enters along with it. Objects themselves are data. Data such as the artist, origin, material, and cultural significance is integral in cataloging and categorizing the object within the institutions’ collections framework. However, this framework is rooted in colonial structures that continue to misrepresent and misuse Indigenous histories.

Understanding “sovereignty”, the human right to ‘hold sovereignty’ and ‘Indigenous data sovereignty’ is a critical act of dismantling collections practices rooted in colonial frameworks. This workshop will explore visual art and cultural objects as data. This workshop will delve into the meaning of information sovereignty including intellectual property, digital data collection, and will help inform institutions how they can alter their collections policies and practices through a decolonial lens.

Sessions will include:

  • Giving Back Control – The Importance of Indigenous Data Sovereignty
  • The CARE Principles and Your Institution
  • Examining Biases in Collections Data
  • Panel Discussion – Visual Art as Data and What this Means for Collections Data


  • Dawn Owen, Curator, Guelph Museums


  • Aaron Franks, Senior Research Manager, OCAP® and Information Governance | Gestionnaire de recherche principal, PCAP® et gouvernance de l’information, First Nations Information Governance Centre
  • Kim Anderson, Indigenous (Métis) scholar, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Storying Indigenous Relational Futures
  • Alex Jacobs-Blum, Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga) and German visual artist and curator
  • Sharon Farnel, Head, Metadata Strategies, University of Alberta
  • Bob Flewelling, Historian, City of Guelph

Registration Fees:

GOG Members: $175.00
General/Non-Members: $275.00
Artist / Independent Art Worker: $55.00
Students (with valid student ID): $45.00
Free for Indigenous artists and independent Indigenous arts workers

Registration includes full-day attendance, a comprehensive toolkit for each participant to take away with them, and lunch.

Visit our website to register.

Accessibility Needs:

Please reach out to Jessica Lukas, Secretariat Coordinator, if you require any accessibility accommodations or have questions.

Venue Location:

This workshop will be held in-person at the Guelph Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street, Guelph ON. The accessible venue provides free parking and is a 5 minute walk from the nearby Via Rail and Go stations.

Upcoming GOG Zoom Workshops:

Strategizing Your Resources: A Guide for Small & Rural Institutions Workshop
March 21, 2024

Public Art
March 27, 2024


GOG gratefully acknowledges the funding contribution from the Museums Assistance Program, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.


About GOG:

Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries has over a 50 year history as an arts service organization (ASO) and represents over 270 members—public art galleries, museums, artist-run-centres, and arts organizations. For over 45 years, its annual award program has been defining the standards of excellence for the visual arts in Canada. Through advocacy on issues, policy, legislation to all levels of government, and delivery of innovative and cutting-edge professional development opportunities and network-building, GOG advances, empowers, and strengthens the visual arts sector in Canada.

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Contact Information:
Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries
T: (416) 598-0714

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