The Art Canada Institute offers virtual programming to audiences across the country, and, at the time of writing, operates in an entirely virtual, remote workspace with staff in Toronto, Hamilton, and Montreal and contributors living and working in many places in Canada. We wish to acknowledge that we are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work in all these places, which are the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples and are home to many different First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. We know as well that as an institution committed to virtual programming, we have a responsibility to reflect on our carbon and digital footprints and understand their impact on the land and communities. Because the Art Canada Institute is based in Toronto, we honour and seek to understand, in particular, the relationships that the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit have with their traditional territory, and we are working to do more to engage with these communities.
We recognize the enormous diversity of Indigenous art practices across Turtle Island and Inuit Nunangat that are intricately connected to the land, and we are grateful and honoured to have the opportunity to learn about these art practices. We respect the teachings of Indigenous communities and Elders about the land, and we are grateful for every opportunity to collaborate in presenting programming.
In acknowledging the history and ongoing systemic practices of colonialism in Canada that have oppressed Indigenous peoples, ACI also acknowledges that our organization has benefitted from colonialism. We are committed to actively working toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and we strive to learn more about Indigenous world views, to develop and sustain right relations with Indigenous advisors and Elders, and to celebrate the work of Indigenous artists. ACI wishes in this Land Acknowledgement to express deep respect for Indigenous peoples and their communities, as well as their art traditions and artists.
Banner image: Robert Houle, O-ween du muh waun (We Were Told), 2017, oil on canvas, triptych, 213.4 x 365.8 cm, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown.