Tuesday, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for everyone to recognize and celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples—for the past, the present and the future.
In recognition of this day, the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is opening its doors and inviting the public to enjoy our exhibitions and programming for FREE from 11am to 5pm, made possible by our Sustaining Partner Capital Power.
All our exhibitions will be open—visitors are invited to take in exhibitions featuring Indigenous artists, including Water-Wise, River Breath: Reframing design’s role with water, which explores our connection to water, and Comic Sans, which celebrates Canadian comic book artists. Learn more about our exhibitions here.
There are also various programs throughout the day and enjoy and learn more about the heritage, cultures and stories of Indigenous Peoples:
12pm - 3pm: Parfleche Painting with Alaynee Goodwill-Littlechild
1pm: Free film screening | Beans by Tracey Deer
3pm: Welcome and prayer by Elder Elsie Paul, followed by remarks by MJ Belcourt Moses (AGA Adjunct Curator of Indigenous Art) and an interactive Hoop Dance performance by Lakota Tootoosis in the Manning Hall (main floor)
National Indigenous Peoples Day at Your AGA is sponsored by Capital Power.
Parfleche Painting Workshop with Alaynee Goodwill-Littlechild
Join Dakota/Lakota multimedia artist and designer Alaynee Goodwill-Littlechild for a free workshop on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Parfleche is painted rawhide, a durable and incredibly versatile material that was essential to many Plains tribes. Parfleche was used to make containers, maps, calendars and gifts. The designs painted on parfleche were just as important as what was held inside, often showing special family designs, stories and important events. Parfleche painting has evolved and continues to thrive as an important reflection of history, storytelling and individualism.
Workshop participants will learn about the history of Parfleche and its significance to Plains tribes. They will construct and paint their own parfleche piece to take home.
About Alaynee Goodwill-Littlechild: Alaynee Goodwill-Littlechild is a registered social worker, child and family advocate, business owner, arts instructor, powwow dancer and mother. “Within my pieces, I share who I am and the stories of my people, while honouring my family and celebrating life,” said Goodwill-Littlechild. “Keeping the integrity of traditional art processes, each piece is constructed using the most authentic materials and culturally accurate methods to ensure the highest quality of plains quillwork.” Goodwill-Littlechild’s work pays tribute to the history of a plains tribe and carries the cultural continuum of beautiful and proud people.
About the Film Beans: Based on true events, this film chronicles the 78-day standoff between two Mohawk communities and government forces in 1990 in Quebec through the eyes of a twelve-year-old Mohawk girl named Tekehentahkhwa (nicknamed "Beans,”) whose life is radically changed by the events.
Please note that Beans deals with adult themes and mature subject matters including violence, profanity and sexuality. This film is for mature audiences and is not recommended for children. There is no food or drink inside the theatre. The film is 132 minutes long. Registration is recommended since space is limited.
About the director of Beans: Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer led the acclaimed dramedy Mohawk Girls to five award-winning seasons as its co-creator, director and co-showrunner. She received four consecutive Canadian Screen Award nominations for Best Direction in a Comedy Series for Mohawk Girls, and she has been honored at TIFF with the Birks Diamond Tribute Award. Tracey's debut narrative feature Beans, a coming-of-age story, is inspired by her own experiences.
About Lakota Tootoosis: Lakota Tootoosis is plains Cree from the Poundmaker Cree nation. Tootoosis has been hoop dancing for over ten years. He has performed in Taiwan, Alaska, and travels extensively throughout North America dancing for audiences at various venues. The hoop dance is a formation storytelling dance–you will see formations like the butterfly, eagle and the world to name a few. Throughout Tootoosis’ performance, you will see a variety of images and can imagine various transformations.