Call for Applications: ohpinamake 2023 Prize for Indigenous Artists

University of Saskatchewan: Art Galleries & Collections

University Art Galleries and Collections, 2022.

ohpinamake 2023: Applications Now Open

Submission Deadline: August 25, 2023

We’re thrilled to announce that the University of Saskatchewan is launching the second year of “ohpinamake”, a prestigious prize for Indigenous artists. This incredible opportunity is made possible thanks to the generous support of donors Jim and Marian Knock.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Jim and Marion Knock provided the original $50,000 for ohpinamake, as a seed initiative that they hoped would invite others that share their vision that art will be a key method of reconciliation to contribute to the fund. This year, Jim and Marian Knock are inviting others to participate in this opportunity to support Indigenous knowledge and achievement by making a gift to ohpinamake. Please join Jim and Marian, following their exemplary leadership, to make this bold vision a reality by contributing to the fund here. From their initial generosity, an award of $10,000 will be provided annually for the next four years. The application is open to Indigenous artists whose territories intersect with the current colonial borders of Canada.

The word ohpinamake is a nêhiyawêwin term meaning “to lift others.” The name was gifted to the USask Art Galleries and Collection by a group of three Indigenous community leaders: Elders Maria Campbell and Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer, and artist and USask alumna Ruth Cuthand (BFA’83, MFA’92). In further conversation with community, we have endeavoured to remove the systemic barriers that keep Indigenous artists and others from accessing opportunities like this. From this space of engaged listening we will continue to develop both the processes of application, adjudication, and the possible outcomes of ohpinamake over the remaining four years.

ohpinamake banner over College Drive, Saskatoon, SK. Photo: Brianna Fiddler, 2023.


The artist chosen must clearly engage in a practice that ‘lifts others’. This can be understood as an active social practice or as the production of artworks that elevate Indigenous world-sense and create community. It can also be modeling behaviour that supports others in truly relational ways.

In 2022, Winnipeg based-artist, KC Adams was selected as the inaugural recipient of ohpinamake. KC Adams was chosen by a jury of exceptional cultural workers and community members, including, Camille Georgeson-Usher, Tarah Hogue, and France Trepannier. More about KC Adams and her practice can be found here.


The artist will be chosen by a jury of cultural workers and community members and will receive $10,000.00. The award recipient will be announced the week of October 2, following the University of Saskatchewan’s week of reflection in response to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation September 30, 2023.

How To Submit

The application form has only two questions, but they are important ones to ensure the jurors can understand how well your work activates the principals and intention of this award. The online application form for this year’s award is available in English, French and Inuktitut. More information can be found on our website.

There is an opportunity to upload media. We suggest you assemble multiple images into a single pdf, or if you are wanting to link to online media like websites, video, or audio, please make a list of the links with content descriptions as well as any passwords required for the jurors to access them, and then submit that as a single pdf.

Submission Deadline: August 25, 2023

For additional information or questions, please contact:
jake moore
Director, University Art Galleries and Collections,
University of Saskatchewan

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University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries & Collections
Peter MacKinnon Building, Ground Level
107 Administration Place, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK Canada S7N 5A2
1 (306) 966-4608

Facebook @gordonsnelgrovegallery

While all university galleries are accessible with either first-floor entrance or elevator, accessible washrooms, wide unobstructed paths and elevator access. If you require accessibility support to visit the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, we ask that you contact us at 306-966-4208 to make arrangements in advance. Accessible access is possible through the Murray Library.

Image descriptions:
1. A bright yellow banner with white triangles on the right side. Centered in the banner, it reads “ohpinamake” in a red, funky font. Directly below “ohpinamake” it reads “‘to lift others’ – nêhiyawêwin” in a simple black font.
2. A bright yellow banner, with black ends. Overlaying the yellow is red and white writing, reading “ohpinamake” and “An annual award for Indigenous and First Peoples artists. This banner is spread across a pedestrian overpass. Below the banner is an assortment of green trees, shrubs, grass, light posts, and two paved roads. Above the banner is a bright blue sky.