Indigenous Futures in Public Art Galleries & Museums

Thursday, November 30 – Saturday, December 2, 2023

Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries is hosting a three-day public art gallery summit exploring Reconcili-Action and Indigenous Futurity in cultural institutions with a focus on policy formations.

Victoria E. Ransom @wahiia, 2023


Thursday, November 30, 9am to 6pm EST
Woodland Cultural Centre, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
184 Mohawk Street, Brantford, ON

Heather George, Executive Director, WCC

Woodland Cultural Centre

David Garneau, Visual Artist, Curator and Critical Art Writer
Zainub Verjee, Executive Director, Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries

Theme 1 — Public Institutions, Policy, Collections, Communities, Relationships and Care

This conversation will explore, reflect, agitate and imagine prospects of Indigenous future trajectories and learnings from the past.
Moderator: Heather George
Rick Hill, Sr., Indigenous Innovations Specialist, Mohawk College, Hamilton
Gerald McMaster, Curator, Artist, Author, and Professor Emeritus & Director of Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge, OCAD University

Unveiling the Illusion: Uniting Communities, Caring of Collections, and Fostering Reconciliation
How do we situate the idea of the public, it’s institutions and instruments? This panel addresses the need for care in approaching our collections, relationships and communities, and how we can understand the status of reconciliation.
Moderator: Heather Igloliorte, Professor, Visual Arts Department, University of Victoria
Karen Duffek, Curator, Contemporary Visual Arts & Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology
Janis Kahentóktha Monture, Executive Director & CEO, Canadian Museums Association
Ruth B. Phillips, Professor Emerita of Art History, Carleton University

The status of reconciliation – as a concept, practice and its imaginary
This panel offers an exploration of reconciliation as offered to us through the TRC Report, and speaks to the challenges and promises of the pursuit of reconciliation. From different vantage points, the panelists will engage with the complexity of the task at hand – both in our public institutions, as well as our lived experience.
Russ Diabo, Co-founder, Defenders of the Land Network
Johnny Mack, Assistant Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law and First Nations & Indigenous Studies, UBC

Friday, December 1, 10am to 4:30pm EST
Toronto Metropolitan University, The Creative School—The Catalyst
80 Gould Street, Toronto, ON

Dana Claxton, Artist, and Professor & Head of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC.

Theme 2 — Making/Unmaking Exhibitions

Relational Practices, Hyper Localities, and Rigorous Work
When considering exhibition making, curators and programmers become gatherers of knowledge, relationships, stories, concepts, and space. In unmaking exhibitions we challenge frameworks that are no longer serving us, and in doing so we provide alternative modes of presentation. On this panel, we ask questions about making exhibitions through practices that are relational and rigorous, and what it means to work in hyper local ways.
Moderator: Camille Georgeson-Usher, Curator, Writer, and Professor of Modern and Contemporary Indigenous Art, UBC
Rachelle Dickenson, Senior Curator, Ottawa Art Gallery
Ilana Shamoon, Deputy Director & Director of Programs, Toronto Biennial of Art

Theme 3 — Collective Modes of Resistance

Indigenous Futurisms
Indigenous displays of alternate practices and working outside the usual publishing/curatorial realms.
Moderator: David Garneau, Visual Artist, Curator and Critical Art Writer
Jackson Leween, 2bears, Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Arts Research and Technology, Associate Professor, University of Lethbridge
January Rogers, Artist/curatorial collective 2RO Media based in Ohsweken/Six Nations of the Grand River
Santee Smith, Artist, Ohswé:ken/Six Nations

Solidarity Movements
Moderator: David Garneau
Dylan Miner, Artist, Activist, and Professor, School of Art & Design, University of Michigan
Cecily Nicholson, Writer, and Assistant Professor, School of Creative Writing, UBC
Carmen Papalia, Social Practice Artist

Saturday, December 2, 10am to 4:30pm EST
Toronto Metropolitan University, The Creative School—The Catalyst
80 Gould Street, Toronto

Theme 4 — Plurality of Indigenous Communities

Navigating the Nexus: Forging a Harmonious Bridge Between Global Dynamics and Local Realities in Indigenous Movements
Global Indigenous movements have evolved, growing stronger and enduring resistance. The multitude that makes for global Indigenous movements have been shaped by both inner strength and external pressures, including lateral violence and historical narratives. What is the role of art and cultural institutions, in resolving tensions between local and global on one hand, and on the other, to offer a new knowledge and a pathway for creation of public institutions and pedagogies towards resolving conflicts.
Moderator: Ryan Rice, Executive Director + Curator, Indigenous Art, Onsite Gallery, OCAD University
Tarah Hogue, Curator (Indigenous Art), Remai Modern, Saskatoon
Julia Lafreniere, Head of Indigenous Ways and Equity, Winnipeg Art Gallery – Qaumajuq
Taqralik Partridge, Associate Curator, Indigenous Art (Inuit Art Focus), Art Gallery of Ontario

Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery
Heather Igloliorte, Professor, Visual Arts Department, University of Victoria
Moderator: Zainub Verjee

Practicing Generative Criticality: Reframing Critique as Community Building
This workshop will explore generative critique for a resilient arts community, and discover the power of constructive critique in fostering a thriving arts sector. Join us to discuss effective critique, its shortcomings, and strategies for improvement.
Facilitator: Camille Georgeson-Usher, Curator, Writer, and Professor of Modern and Contemporary Indigenous Art, UBC

Theme 5 — Generation Next

Knowledge Transfer and Leadership
Hear how Indigenous leaders and next generation artists are working with their communities on consideration of care, accessibility, mentorship, and empowering lived experience.
Moderator: Alysa Procida, Executive Director, Inuit Art Foundation
Bryenton Innes, Artist, and Historian
Nico Williams, Multi-Disciplinary Artist, and 2021 Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art

REGISTRATION (three-days & lunch)

Artist / Independent Art Worker: $300
GOG Institutional Member: $900
Institutional Non-Member: $1050
Student: $225

Registrants can reserve a seat on a bus leaving downtown Toronto, on Thursday, November 30, at 9:00am, for an additional $35 fee. Seat availability is first-come first-serve.



Woodland Cultural Centre and Toronto Metropolitan University are accessible venues.

ASL interpretation available upon request.

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For more information contact:

Craig Berggold
Project Manager
Public Art Gallery Summit
Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries