A Cause for Celebration? First Things First presents the work of three contemporary Indigenous artists and one new Canadian artist who deal with issues of past and present, healing and justice, hope and vision. Diverse in their practices, these artists create work that speaks to present day issues, problems and solutions that emphasize the universality of human experiences. In learning from the past, we will adapt for the future. We will thrive. And that is a cause for celebration.
Featuring the work of:
Curated by: Virginia Eichhorn and Andrea Jackman
"THEMUSEUM's exhibition, A Cause for Celebration? First Things First is enlightening for those who have said, "I never knew about residential schools or Indigenous peoples land claim issues." It is surprising because it is a part of Canada's history. As Indigenous people this is a story we know all too well. It is in our DNA and has been our struggle for hundreds of years. The Prime Minister's didactic has been brilliantly folded in between the beautiful works of First Nations and a new Canadian's artwork. We tend to see what we want within the art and as we experience it and enjoy it we find ourselves faced with the words of this country's Prime Ministers. Policies that were created with the intent to remove Aboriginal communities from their homelands to make way for the railway. Or the plans for aggressive assimilation by taking children from their families to become Euro-Canadians and then have them return to their communities to set an example to their savage parents. As I read these it both angered and saddened me seeing the words of reality bookended by beautiful works of art that express hope and diversity. This exhibition can be the beginning of how we need to walk together in our efforts to bring healing to this Country. We cannot right the wrongs but we can move forward with a new perspective that will help us find respect for each other. I highly recommend you visit and let it inspire you in your journey of truth and reconciliation."
-Lorrie Gallant, Education Coordinator Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford ON
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