Lonigan Gilbert, Main Street, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel. Collection of the artist
According to 2016 Canadian statistics, over 1,673,785 Indigenous peoples live in Canada with over half of this population residing in urban areas. Despite these statistics the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples in the urban environment are often ignored and erased. Indigenous people have long struggled to define who they are and many are now contesting the colonial belief that cities are non-Indigenous spaces and re-envisioning Western institutions and practices to support Indigenous cultures and identities. Such efforts recognize urban Indigenous identities as positive, complex, authentic and pluralist, involving a diversity of different ideas and expressions.
The travelling exhibition Ahkameyimo - Never Give Up features the work of two Indigenous artists whose works, while respecting traditional culture and visual imagery, also engage with the urban environment in which they reside. This exhibition features art works by Matthew Cardinal and Lonigan Gilbert.
Curated by Shane Golby, Art Gallery of Alberta (TREX Region 2)