Vernon Ah Kee, cantchant, 2009
12 surfboards, 8 paintings, single-channel video

Nadia Myre, Indian Act, 2000-2002
beads, cloth, thread, 52 pages of the Indian Act
Opening today at the National Gallery of Canada is Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art: possibly one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary indigenous art in Canada today. Poetic, unexpected and challenging, some 150 artworks by over 75 artists from around the world celebrate and interrogate distinct cultural, political and social moments experienced by Indigenous peoples. 

Sakahàn, meaning “to light a fire” in the language of the Algonquin peoples, is the largest survey of recent Indigenous art organized by a national institution. The exhibition features artworks by award-winning artists, including Rebecca Belmore, Brian Jungen, and Annie Pootoogook from Canada as well as internationally renown artists as Jimmie Durham (United States/Italy/Germany), Michael Parekowhai (New Zealand), and Teresa Margolles (Mexico/Spain). It also presents artists who have not yet received widespread exposure in North America, such as Toru Kaizawa (Japan), Venkat Raman Singh Shyam (India), and Outi Pieski (Finland). The artists’ approaches are as varied as their chosen media, which include performance art, drawing, installations, painting, photography, sculpture and video. Several new works will be created specifically for the exhibition.
Marie WattBlanket Stories: Seven Generations, Adawe, and Hearth, 2013
site-specific installation using found/donated blankets
Marie Watt is one of the artists creating a new work which will be on display at the NGC for Sakahàn. Entitled Blanket Stories: Seven Generations, Adawe, and Hearth, her ambitious installation will be arranged into multiple columns, reflecting the Indigenous teaching of seven generations. Members of the public are invited to trade a blanket and share their story with the artist, who will incorporate their contribution into the installation. In exchange, donors will receive a limited edition print from the artist. For details on how to donate your blanket and story to the Gallery, visit

Michael Parekowhai, My Sister, My Self, 2009
Fibreglass, wood, enamel paint