About the Program
In 2017, the Province of Ontario invited art and design students from the Indigenous Visual Culture program at OCAD University to visit and interact with cultural objects in the Indigenous collection at the Royal Ontario Museum. The project was intended to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Ontario.
The students studied and reflected on the objects they had chosen for six months, learning everything they could about their history, fabrication and traditional uses. They then made art works to express the beauty of these objects and their enduring cultural importance.
The students’ responses ventured into the futuristic and imaginary as they considered the transformative power the objects still possess, the stories they still have to tell, and the work they still have to do.
By sharing their responses on this website the students and creative team hope to encourage more research and interaction with Indigenous items currently in storage in institutions around the world, to uncover and recover their histories and futurities.
HOVER AND CLICK BELOW TO VIEW EACH INDIVIDUAL STUDENT PROJECT
The Process of Uncovering the Past
One day in September 2017 we entered the Royal Ontario Museum as researchers and creators for the first time. We met at the side door, the staff entrance, signed in at the security desk, and were issued visitors badges.
The Curator of Anthropology Arni Brownstone led us through a locked door, down a twisting corridor and up a staff elevator to the Anthropology Department collections area. We were hushed, nervous, and uncertain.