ICYMI: Inuit Futures In Arts Leadership

Michael Maltzan Architecture

THE PILIMMAKSARNIQ/PIJARIUQSARNIQ PROJECT

The WAG is very excited to have partnered in Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant.

Pilimmaksarniq and Pijariuqsarniq are the Inuit societal values of developing skills and knowledge through observation, mentoring, practice, and effort. The purpose of the partnership grant is to increase Inuit participation in arts careers and research best practices in recruiting, mentoring, and training Inuit for these positions.

For decades, Inuit artists have represented the highest per capita population of artists across Canada, yet there are very few Inuit in arts leadership or academic positions. The WAG, along with the other SSHRC grant partners, believes increasing Inuit participation in the arts is critical in perpetuating the health of the arts sector in the North. Activities undertaken through the SSHRC grant will result in more Inuit assuming leadership roles and directing initiatives that impact Inuit art, people, and their livelihoods. 

The WAG is partnering on the creation of an online learning program that will assist Inuit anywhere in Inuit Nunangat (the four Inuit regions in Canada) to learn critical skills in museum practices and Inuit art history. The Gallery is working with the director of the grant, Inuk Heather Igloliorte and Concordia University’s KnowledgeOne e-learning company, to develop a flexible, adaptive education and training program for Inuit students and future professionals. 

“This pilot program will draw on WAG and Nunavut collections, as well as expertise found in all aspects of the WAG, to build cultural capacity, attract Inuit to arts careers, and prepare them for leadership roles. It’s very exciting that the graduates will go on to work at the WAG, in their home communities, and at other arts institutions across Canada.” — Dr. Heather Igloliorte

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