The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) has announced that Lisa Quluqqi Koperqualuk will join the team as their new Curator and Mediator of Inuit Art. Koperqualuk has worked with Inuit organizations and committees at the provincial, federal and national levels since becoming Vice President of International Affairs at the Inuit Circumpolar Council. A trilingual speaker and trained anthropologist, she holds a Master’s from Université Laval and a certificate in financial management from Cornell. She has worked as an Inuktitut teacher at John Abbot College, an educational councillor for the Kativik Ilisarniliriniq and as Director of Communications and Public Relations at the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec.
The MMFA’s Inuit art collection is one of the largest in Canada, comprising over 900 carvings, drawings, prints, jewelry, textiles, and other decorative arts by more than 300 artists. As part of her new position, Koperqualuk is tasked with putting the Museum’s dynamic acquisitions policy to use towards further acquisitions of Inuit art, and working with the museum to provide mentorships to interns from Northern communities as part of her broader mission to foster relationships between the MMFA and Arctic Indigenous communities
Koperqualuk will collaborate on all of the Museum’s projects to enrich its Inuit art collection and enhance initiatives in Montreal and northern communities. Additionally, she will undertake a reorganization of the extensive Inuit art collection housed at the museum and facilitate projects designed for both Inuit and qallunaat visitors.
“The Inuit of Nunavik, Nunavut, the Inuvialuit region and Nunatsiavut can count on me for their art to be well presented and highlighted. This collaboration will strengthen our cultural links with Montreal, Canada and countries across the world” says Koperqualuk, who has published extensively on the social, political and identity issues facing Inuit, and was involved in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The MMFA, which signed a long-term partnership with the Avataq Cultural Institute to promote Inuit culture and art last September, created this position exactly one year after the signing to assert the MMFA’s determination to expanding current Inuit art promotions and introducing new initiatives. Strengthening their connection further, Avataq will soon move into the building adjacent to the MMFA, its new proximity designed to encourage collaborative research and spark dialogue between experts in Nunavik and Montreal.
“We are fortunate to be able to rely on the considerable expertise of Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk in supporting our projects, developing our initiatives and above all in training the next generation of Inuit art professionals both here and elsewhere. Welcome, Lisa!” says Natalie Bondil, the MMFA’s Director General and Chief Curator.
Koperqualuk will be the keynote speaker at the 21st Inuit Studies Conference, which will take place from October 3rd to October 6th, 2019 in Montreal, QC.