One of my favourite things about the discussion of culture and FNMI people is the rapid change and adaptation that has occurred in the world of FMNI art. What is considered “art from the past” were the clothing and tools used by Canada’s original inhabitants through to a more contemporary perspective where FNMI art has taken on a more political view. Before artists like Norval Morrisseau in the 1960s brought an awareness that FNMI art even existed among the non-indigenous population, traditional artwork could only be found in museums and much had been lost; largely due to restrictions under the Indian Act.
I enjoy having the conversations with students about art and culture and how things were lost, found and adapted to reach a new audience, and serve a new purpose.
Attached is a power point which I use to introduce the topic to my students. It still needs refining, but it has worked as a good spring board into the importance of art on people’s identity and culture. FNMI Art