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News Roundup: Indigenous Fashion Arts Reveals 2024 Festival Lineup

Jul 20, 2023
by IAQ

Indigenous Fashion Arts announces lineup. Eight-nine Indigenous artists, designers, makers and brands from Canada and beyond will present their wares at the next Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA) festival, scheduled for May 30–June 2, 2024, at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. The four-day event features runway shows, panel discussions, workshops, an art exhibition and an outdoor marketplace.

Among the selected designers expected to hit the red carpet are Ujaraatsiaq’s Garments (Salliq, NU), Taalrumiq (Tuktuuyaqtuuq, Inuvialuit Settlement Region), Arctic Luxe (Utqiagvik, Alaska) and Bibi Chemnitz (Copenhagen/Nuuk, Greenland).

Ivínguak’ Stork Høegh among artists exhibited at Alianait Arts Festival. An exhibition of work by Ivínguak’ Stork Høegh at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit, NU, was featured as part of the Alianait Arts Festival from June 29–July 3. Part of the ongoing series ArcticExotic, Høegh’s digital collages incorporate images of Inuit with vibrant images—zebras, dinosaur, crocodiles, tropical landscapes—in order to examine meeting points between cultures, as well as to reflect on a fascination for the “exotic” that has characterized colonial exploration of so much of the world. 

The festival brought together artists from around the world to perform in Iqaluit. Alianait places a strong emphasis on collaboration across regions, featuring acts from Kalaalit Nunaat, Australia, the Siksika Nation, the Northwest Territories and across Nunavut in this year’s iteration. Audiences had opportunities to participate in workshops about Inuit games, circus, Uaajerrneq, DJing, bass guitar and throat singing; singalongs and open mic events; a carving demo; as well as the theatre production Qaumma and a weekend of live musical performances.

New funding allocated to digitization of Inuit art. On June 28, Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez announced that the Government of Canada would provide more than $430,000 in funding to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection to digitize more than 66,000 Inuit artworks on paper from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. The works represent a selection of the more than 100,000 drawings from artists at the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, which have been held in trust at the McMichael since the 1990s.

The digitized works will be made available in its entirety on Iningat Ilagiit, a website that was developed to accommodate northern internet connections and serve as a resource for students and others in Inuit communities to access their art history. “With this investment, we ensure that future generations have access to the Kinngait Archive and the traditional and cultural knowledge it holds,” said Rodriguez in a press release.<

CRTC hears applications for Inuit TV Network and Uvagut TV. On June 28–29, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) held hearings for separate applications to include Inuit TV Network (ITV) and Uvagut TV as mandatory channels for the basic TV package available across Canada. In advance of the hearings, the CRTC received more than 5,000 support correspondences for the channels, including many from Elders, Inuit organizations, producers and municipal leaders.

Among the petitioners who spoke at the presentations were director, producer and ITV President and Board Chair Alethea Aggiuq Arnaquq-Baril and Nunavut Independent Television Network (NITV) Executive Director Lucy Tulugarjuk, who spoke on behalf of Uvagut TV, which was launched in January 2021 by NITV and IsumaTV. Full transcripts from June 28 and June 29 are available to read.

At the end of the two days, CRTC Hearing Chairperson Adam Scott said, “This hearing has given the CRTC valuable insights into the dynamics of providing television service to the Inuit, and it’s helped us create a valuable and fulsome record for this process. Decisions are not made in this room; this is the room where we gather the facts and the information and the perspectives that we need to make what everyone is recognizing will be a difficult decision, but an incredibly important one.”

Federal government releases action plan to implement UNDRIP. On June 23, Justice Minister David Lametti along with Inuit, First Nations and Métis representatives released the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDA) Action Plan in Ottawa, ON. The document lays out the federal government’s plans to implement the declaration, including 181 measures to uphold the rights of Inuit, First Nations and Métis people. Some of the measures include co-developing an approach to stop anti-Indigenous racism and guidance for engaging Indigenous Peoples on resource project development. The release of the plan follows an intense review by chiefs gathered for a meeting of the Assembly of First Nations back in April. The implementation of the measures is set to occur over the next five years.

Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona illustrates Google Doodle. For National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, Ottawa, ON, artist Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona was commissioned to illustrate a Doodle that celebrates Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk, CM (1931–2001), a writer from Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik, QC, who is best known for her novel Sanaaq (1984), one of the first Inuktitut language novels ever written. Nappaaluk later had a major influence on education in Nunavik: she worked as a consultant for the Kativik School Commission and wrote several books on traditional language and culture for use in schools. Kabloona worked on the piece in conjunction with Norma Dunning, who has studied and written about Nappaaluk. “I’m thrilled that younger generations of Inuit will be able to see themselves represented in their own country,” said Kabloona about the Doodle’s impact.

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