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Woven In

Indigenous Women's Activism and Media

November 19, 2022 - May 7, 2023 Curated by Gerry Ambers, Marianne Nicolson and Siku Allooloo

Throughout the generations, Indigenous women across Turtle Island have been at the heart of grassroots activism and resurgence. The role of women has been of vital importance since time immemorial – safeguarding homelands, nationhood, sovereignty, and culture – despite the shift towards patriarchy that started with colonization. Woven In: Indigenous Women, Activism, and Media celebrates the intergenerational continuum of grassroots leadership and anticolonial organizing led by women through advocacy, communications, artistry, and community initiatives.

Co-curators Gerry Ambers, Marianne Nicolson, and Siku Allooloo come together with different pieces of historic and contemporary activisms, highlighting the pivotal work of women within their communities through the exhibition space. Archive publications provided by Gerry and Siku such as Native Alliance for Red Power (NARP) and Indígena: News from Indian America demonstrate the importance of women-led communications in the Red Power Movement across the hemisphere and Northwest Coast. Marianne’s revitalization of pictographs as legal texts marked onto the land show Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw history, affirming her nation’s connection to homeland and continuation of sovereignty past, present and future. Woven In also includes works by Banchi Hanuse and Tania Willard, including films, print works on Indigenous labour throughout history, and an opportunity to tune into Nuxalk Radio.

As colonization continues to evolve and harm Indigenous peoples in overt and insidious ways, contemporary activists must anticipate how to respond; by looking back to generations before us the lineage of grounded knowledge, communal vision, and steadfast resistance continues on. Woven In closely and tenderly examines the importance of women’s role in enacting change through generations, and the braid of wisdom, courage and strength that continues to be woven today.

This exhibition coincides with a parallel exhibition at Open Space called TIDE LINES: Coastal Resistance of the 60s and 70s organized by Gerry Ambers, CHAA’WINISAKS Ogilvie, Tyrone Elliott, Eli Hirtle and Toby Lawrence that runs through January 28, 2023.

Image credits L-R: Compilation of grassroots media from Gerry Ambers's personal archives, late 1960s to late 1990s. Community pictographs, 2019, Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w territory, Ukwanalis Village along the Gwa’yi (Kingcome) River, photo courtesy of Marianne Nicolson. Homage to Indian Women, an expert from the 1975-6 Winter Issue of Indígena: News from Indian America, courtesy of Siku Allooloo.
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