Contemporary Anishinaabe Artwork added to the Art Bank Collection

April 15, 2024

Updated on April 17, 2024

The Canada Council Art Bank makes discretionary purchase highlighting artwork by
Anishinaabe artists.

Ottawa, Ontario, April 15, 2024—The Canada Council Art Bank is pleased to announce a purchase of artwork by contemporary Anishinaabe artists for its collection. The purchase has been made possible with a discretionary budget of $50,000. This purchase signals the Council’s desire to deepen its commitment to the Anishinaabe Algonquin host nation, on which Council offices are located. This purchase increases the number of works by Anishinaabe artists in the collection. With the exception of Nadia Myre, all the artists are new to the collection.

“With this purchase, the Art Bank recognizes the work being done by contemporary Anishinaabe artists that spans from traditional birch bark bitings to working with AI technology to produce their work. It also demonstrates the Council’s desire to foster deeper relationships with Indigenous communities, starting with artists from the Nation of the unceded territory where Council offices are located and where the Council carries out its work.”

 — Amy Jenkins, Head, Art Bank

Selecting artists

The Art Bank worked with colleagues in the Council’s Creating, Knowing and Sharing program, Elders from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, in Maniwaki, and the Director of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial, in Montréal, in addition to contemporary art dealers, to be introduced to artists. In total, 20 artists from several Anishinaabe communities were included in the list of potential artists.

The final selection was made in collaboration with Art Bank employees and colleagues in Creating, Knowing and Sharing. 

“I am thrilled by this discretionary purchase that celebrates talented Anishinaabe artists and demonstrates respect and responsibility towards the customary keepers and defenders of the Ottawa River Watershed and its tributaries. The selected works of art represent the beautiful diversity of artistic and cultural practices and intergenerational expressions. Art, for most Indigenous Peoples, is an offering of their stories to cultivate joy, support healing, truth telling and collective growth. Tshinashkumitinau: I give thanks to all our relations.”

 — Odile Joannette, Director of Creating, Knowing and Sharing

Summary of selected artwork

  • Twenty artists identified from several Anishinaabe communities (Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, Long Point First Nation, Saugeen First Nation, Timiskaming First Nation, etc.)
  • Eleven works by eight artists were selected for purchase, with an even number of men and women.
  • Seven of the eight artists are new to the Art Bank collection.
  • A range of emerging, mid-career and senior artists were selected. 
  • Artists come from across the territory, including Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation (Maniwaki, Quebec), Fort William First Nation (Thunder Bay, Ontario) and Timiskaming First Nation (Timiskaming, Ontario/Quebec border). 

Selected artwork (in alphabetical order)

  • Flowers Birch Bark Biting (2021) – Claire Brascoupé 
  • Chickadees and Flowers (2021) – Mairi Brascoupé
  • Bloom (2024) – Mairi Brascoupé
  • Algonquin Ancestral Medicinal Knowledge Series– Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter (2021) – Simon Brascoupé and Mairi Brascoupé
  • Algonquin Moose ll – Herd (2021) – Simon Brascoupé
  • Skoden 1 (2018) – Christian Chapman
  • Skoden 2 (2018) – Christian Chapman
  • Wanna Trade Belts? No.1 (2023) – Dominic Lafontaine
  • Sigwan on the Kitchisibi (2024) – Claude Latour
  • A Place of Convergence (2023) – Caroline Monnet
  • [In]tangible tangles (E165022-0-A) and (E131262-0-B) (2021) – Nadia Myre

These new acquisitions, which are now available for rental can be viewed online by visiting the Canada Council Art Bank website.

*Corrections have been made based on feedback from the community and exchanges with Christian Chapman, who is of Anishinaabe heritage from Fort William First Nation, Ontario.

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Media relations contacts

For media requests, including interviews with artists, please contact:

Canada Council for the Arts

Communications and Engagement


1-800-263-5588, ext. 5151