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  • Writer's pictureCarey Tate

National Indigenous Peoples Day reflected through art at the McCord Museum

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st, admission to the Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience, and Piqutiapiit exhibitions at the McCord Museum will be free of charge. There will also be a screening of the film Angry Inuk at 12 p.m.

PHOTOS: The McCord Museum

The Indigenous Voices of Today exhibition is a permanent installation at the McCord Museum. According to the description courtesy of the McCord Museum, this exhibit combines the words of Indigenous people with about one hundred objects through video clips and written testimonies. Reflected through this exhibit is the still unrecognized Indigenous knowledge, the deep wounds they carry, and their incredible resilience.

Piqutiapiit is created by artist Niap, a multidisciplinary artist from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik. The exhibit runs until August 21st, and the Museum describes her approach as a fusion of traditional Inuit art with modernism as she uses contemporary art to address themes related to her ancestral heritage. She acknowledges and celebrates Inuit women’s expertise and artistic talent by revealing the ingenuity and creativity of the traditional objects she found in the McCord Museum’s collections and how they reflect and relate to women’s lives.

There will also be a screening of the film Angry Inuk at 12 p.m. on the 21st. The documentary, directed by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, questions old perceptions of Inuit and re-introduces them to the world as a modern people in dire need of a sustainable economy. The director will be present after the screening for a question-and-answer period.

On June 19th, the contemporary circus show Tupituqaq, created by Tupiq A.C.T. (Arctic Circus Troupe), was presented at the Museum Theatre. This modern circus show draws a line between current issues and the Nunavik Inuit community’s traditions. The Museum states that the Arctic Circus Troupe is a brilliant display of Inuit culture through circus arts and traditional Inuit artistic disciplines such as throat singing, artistic sports, and drum dancing. The troupe was founded in 2018 through the Cirqiniq social circus program, which has worked with at-risk Inuit teens since 2009.

National Indigenous Peoples Day honours the culture and contributions of Métis, First Nations, and Inuit communities. It is held annually on the 21st of June. The significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year is a day where Aboriginal communities celebrate their ancestry and culture.

SOURCES: The McCord Museum, The Government of Canada

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