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Decolonization through the art of Robert Houle

Teacher Resource Guide

through the art of Robert Houle

Grades 7 to 12

Robert Houle (b.1947) is one of Canada’s most celebrated contemporary artists. He is of Anishnabe Saulteaux heritage and a member of Sandy Bay First Nation, Treaty 1 Territory, in Manitoba. Houle’s work examines colonialism in Canada, from events that took place decades ago to ongoing practices, and he has described his work as a form of decolonization. Decolonization has been defined in different ways (it can be a personal transformation; a literal repatriation of land, goods, or cultural objects; or a visual or symbolic change within a space, institution, or community), but fundamentally it is about confronting colonialism by challenging it and undermining it, a process that can be empowering. This guide explores how Houle has confronted colonialism by appropriating colonial images and documents and by creating artworks that focus on Indigenous experience.

  • Revisiting Ways of Representing Canadian History
  • Exploration of Robert Houle’s Premises for Self-Rule: Treaty No. 1
  • Creative Response to a Treaty Text

Social Studies, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies, History,  and more

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