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CANADA FOR INDIGENOUS CULTURE




The Inuit, Métis, and First Nations peoples have given Canada a rich cultural heritage. You can experience it in their art, from towering totem poles to bright contemporary paintings; in the ceremony and regalia of pow wow celebrations; and in the haunting melodies of their unique musical styles.

Ceremonial Splendor

 Powwows are energetic celebrations of First Nations culture, with spectacular displays of ceremonial regalia, drumming, dancing, singing, storytelling, and traditional crafts. Held throughout the country, they are attended by tribes across North America. One of the biggest is the Kamloopa Powwow, which takes place each summer in Kamloops

Contemporary Art

While rooted in tradition, contemporary Aboriginal art is bold, exciting, and often political. Look for the vibrant paintings of Daphne Odjig (1919–2016), and the powerful sculptures of Haida artist Bill Reid (1920–98), which can be seen at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art (639 Hornby St, Vancouver)

Indigenous Music

At events such as the Manito Ahbee Festival in Winnipeg and Toronto’s Canadian Aboriginal Festival, you may get the chance to hear throat-singing, a fascinating musical form unique to the Inuit, performed in tandem by two women who imitate the sounds of nature. Throat singer Tanya Tagaq is among the young Indigenous artists fusing traditional and mainstream genres to great effect. Another is DJ Shub, who blends drumming and pow wow singing with electronic dance beats.

Paul Kane

Irish immigrant Paul Kane (1810–71) grew up in what is now Toronto, before embarking upon an epic journey across Canada. He is best known for his extraordinary paintings and sketches of the First Nations people. Famous works include Mah-Min (c. 1856) – or “The Feather“ – a striking painting of an Assiniboine chief.

CANADA FOR INDIGENOUS CULTURE CANADA FOR INDIGENOUS CULTURE Reviewed by MELANIE INFINITY on December 26, 2019 Rating: 5

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