"We've broken this treaty with indigenous people through the process of colonization. How does it play out in a museum context?"

24 January 2020

Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto, Canada

Titled The 21st Century Art Museum: Is Context Everything? the CIMAM 2019 Annual Conference took place 15-17 November in Sydney hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Day 1: Friday 15 November
Challenging the Narrative: Indigenous Perspectives


Centring Contemporary Indigenous Art

What are the ways in which museums today could centre contemporary Indigenous art and decolonize the museum and its audiences? How can Indigenous philosophies, values, and histories that are challenging traditional museology be put forward for the benefit of all in terms of both structural change and audience engagement. Nanibush will use concrete examples in her own work to show avenues for change but first we must change what we think of when we think of Indigenous art.


Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation. Currently Nanibush is the inaugural curator of Indigenous art and co-head of the Indigenous + Canadian Art department at Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Her current AGO exhibition, Rebecca Belmore Facing the Monumental is touring internationally as well as two independent projects Nanabozho’s sisters (Dalhousie) and Sovereign Acts (JMB). Nanibush has a Masters of Visual Studies from University of Toronto where she has taught graduate courses. On top of many catalogue essays Nanibush has published widely on Indigenous art, politics, history and feminism and sexuality.