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The Art Gallery of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe. We also acknowledge all of the Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples who make Alberta their home today.

Tiffany Shaw: Edmonton River Valley

Tiffany Shaw has mapped the section of the North Saskatchewan River that flows through the city limits of amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) while thinking about the Métis scrip process. The undulating river is seen from above and references topical mapping and river lots but relies solely on the river itself as land marker.

From the 1870s until 1924 Métis were given scrip, which is a certificate or coupon that could be exchanged either for land plots of various size or for money. Scrip was offered in lieu of Treaty rights and extinguished the potential collective land rights of the Métis. The process to exchange scrip certificates for land was convoluted and lengthy. This years-long pursuit required the understanding and completion of complex and confusing documents in English and multiple in-person visits to land title offices that were difficult to access. This complicated system meant that many scrip were never redeemed. If one did successfully navigate the process, the land that was offered was often far from one’s community or on less desirable land far from vital water sources. Scrip divided and distributed land inequitably and in contrast to the Métis river lot system that predated it.

Traditional Métis river lots were determined by the river and are a way to share land so that everyone got access to water. A family’s land would extend out from the river in long narrow lots that all had river access. In the late 1800s, the north and south banks of what we now know as the Edmonton River Valley were divided into 44 river lots. Those river lots dictate much of the layout of contemporary Edmonton, and Métis landowners like Garneau, Fraser and Groat are now memorialized in namesake communities. Shaw's Edmonton River Valley, however, is free of markers of contemporary, Métis and colonial land division. The rhythm of the river itself is trusted to hold these past and present stories.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta and curated by Lindsey Sharman. Presented by Capital Powered Art, an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation.

An interior view of the AGA with Tiffany Shaw's installation on the wall.
Installation view of Tiffany Shaw: Edmonton River Valley, Art Gallery of
Alberta, Edmonton, 2022. Photography by Charles Cousins, courtesy of the Art Gallery of
Alberta.
Bios

Tiffany Shaw is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and registered architect based in Alberta. She holds a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University, a Masters in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and is currently working at Reimagine Architects. Shaw has exhibited widely including the Architecture Venice Biennale, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Pier 21, Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. She has been the recipient of multiple public art commissions such as Edmonton's Indigenous Art Park, kinistinâw Park and Winnipeg’s Markham Bus Station. Among her public art projects, Tiffany has produced several notable transitory artworks and is a core member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective.

Oscillating between digital and analogue methodologies Tiffany’s work gathers notions of craft, memory and atmosphere. Her practice is often guided by communal interventions as a way to engage a lifted understanding of place. While born in Calgary and raised in Edmonton, Tiffany’s Métis lineage derives from Fort McMurray via Fort McKay via the Red River.

Location
Public spaces (Manning Hall)
Organized by
  • Art Gallery of Alberta
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Hours

Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 11am-5pm
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

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Out-of-province students
$10
General admission
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Seniors 65+
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Location

2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2C1

780.422.6223
info@youraga.ca

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The Art Gallery of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe. We also acknowledge all of the Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples who make Alberta their home today.