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wāwīndamaw – promise: Indigenous Art and Colonial Treaties in CanadaNordamerika Native Museum (NONAM), Zurich, Switzerland (April 8 to September 17, 2022).

wāwīndamaw means promise: Indigenous Art and Colonial Treaties in Canada at the Nordamerika Native Museum brings together three Anishinaabe artists, Barry Ace, Michael Belmore, and Frank Shebageget. Each artist responds to the concept of treaty and treaty-making processes in Canada; inherent rights and relationship to land and power; and the historical and contemporary impacts from an Indigenous perspective.

For the exhibition, Ace created a new collaborative work that was created during four workshops sessions that took place in Zurich at NONAM with a second session taking place at the Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (MEG) in Geneva. They involved 46 international law students, artists and general public participants (23 in Zurich and 23 in Geneva) who each hand-beaded a floral motif design and hand wrote one of the 46 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples articles in graphite on a sheet of vellum.

During the workshop, the MEG filmed the sessions and created a video short Indigenous Art: Colonial Treaties in Canada. It was produced by the MEG (Nicolas Seguel) in collaboration with NONAM. The short is a photomontage of video shot during the workshops of participants beading and discussing the meaning and intent of UNDRIP and its impact on Indigenous peoples in Canada and globally. For more information on the collaborative work and workshops at the MEG and NONAM (here).

Ace also has his work Spirit Vessel included in another exhibition at the MEG entitled Environmental Injustice – Indigenous Peoples’ Alternatives curated by Carine Ayélé Durand in Geneva, Switzerland. This exhibition runs from September 24, 2021 to August 21, 2022.

Barry Ace is represented by Heffel Galleries (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver).