We’re so excited about this year’s Aboriginal Student Art Exhibition! On National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2013, the Mayor of the City of Vancouver took the extraordinary step of declaring a Year of Reconciliation, a year long effort that seeks to heal from the past and build new relationships between Aboriginal peoples and all Vancouverites. A year later, on June 24, 2014, the City of Vancouver formally acknowledged that the city of Vancouver is on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. This was an important acknowledgement, as it validates what First Nations have been saying since before confederation.
But what does ‘unceded’ mean? In this year’s exhibition, we will explore the meaning of the term ‘unceded’, and consider how this can be applied in other contexts – art, culture, language, social traditions, traditional economies, and intellectual properties, to name a few. Participating artists will present works that speak to these contexts, and provide personal, familial and/or tribal perspectives on the idea of ‘unceded’.
Participating students will also be taking time during the semester to view another significant and related exhibit series entitled “c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city”, which opens in three locations beginning January 21, 2015. Here’s a link for more info on the c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city exhibit: http://www.thecitybeforethecity.com/
Written by Lou-ann Neel