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Decolonizing the Collection and Spiritual Care of Artworks

Friday, November 17, 2023

12 - 1:30 PM EST

As with many historical collections of artworks, there are certain works in the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s collection that are culturally inappropriate in today’s context. This could include their subject matter, their mediums, or their institutional cataloguing and titles. The Artworks Renaming Initiative addresses these problematic pieces by giving new names to identified artworks with the assistance of Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, and language keepers. The Renaming project was an initiative that directly addressed the UNDRIP and tangibly incorporated Indigenous knowledge into the cannon of art history and the art institution. This renaming project is now complete but we anticipate similar and ongoing projects to arise as we work more closely with our collection.


Julia Lafreniere

Head of Indigenous Initiatives

Winnipeg Art Gallery - Qaumajuq

Marie-Anne Redhead

Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art

Winnipeg Art Gallery - Qaumajuq

Julia is the Head of Indigenous Ways, Learning & Equity at the Winnipeg Art Gallery- Qaumajuq and has made presentations about her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and across Turtle Island. Julia was the project lead on a Canadian Museum Association’s award winning initiative in the category of Stewardship of Collections. WAG-Qaumajuq was the recipient of the Tourism Manitoba award for Business Excellence in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, largely in response to work that Julia initiated and led. Julia Lafreniere is also a 2023 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal Julia is Michif and Anishinaabe from Treaty 4 territory in Manitoba.

Marie-Anne Redhead is Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery – Qaumajuq. She is Ininiw and francophone, as well as an emerging curator, writer and member of Fox Lake Cree Nation. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree at the University of Winnipeg with the intent to pursue an MA in the Cultural Studies program. Through her research and creative practice, she is interested in decolonial art forms, contemporary Indigenous art, futurisms, language, and relationship-based identities.


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