New Delhi: In a move which would witness strengthening of India’s bilateral cultural ties with Canada, the National Museum Institute (NMI), in association with Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Delhi, is organising a Special Lecture Series on Indigenous Art of Canada and its representation in Canadian Museums, to be delivered by renowned anthropologist Dr. Stephen Inglis from September 5 to 8, 2011.
This is part of the initiatives taken by both the governments to strengthen bilateral cultural ties, following the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper after the G-8 Summit in June 2010.
The lectures will look into how indigenous art is represented in Canadian Museums and will address issues in the museological study and representation of First Peoples or First Nations (also referred to as Native or Tribals or Adivasis in India). The illustrated lectures will introduce the arts of various First Peoples. It is expected that these presentations and the discussions they provoke will contribute to a course being developed at NMI on the Arts of the Inuit from National Gallery of Canada (NGC).
The four-day lecture session begins on September 5, at 4:15 pm at the Conference Hall, National Museum Institute. The lecture session from September 6-8, 2011 will be from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm. The first lecture will be presided over by Honourable Supreme Court Judge Justice Cyriac Joseph.
Dr. Inglis is a Canadian anthropologist and art historian who specialises in the artistic traditions of the indigenous peoples of North America. He was for over 25 years a curator and Director-General of Research and Collections at the Canadian Museum of Civilisation, Canada’s national museum of history and ethnology. He is currently Adjunct Research Professor of Art History at Carleton University in Ottawa and Executive Director of the Cree Cultural Institute in Northern Quebec, a First Nations Museum.
Dr Inglis is also a well-known specialist in the traditional arts of India. He holds a M.A. in Museology and Indian Art from Calcutta University in India, where he studied Indian art and architecture, folk arts and crafts, and ethnography of tribal societies. He also received a Certificate in Tamil Language and South Indian Culture from Madurai-Kamaraj University in Madurai, India.
Marking this initiative as another important milestone for National Museum Institute, Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose, Vice Chancellor of National Museum Institute and Administrator of National Museum said, “We at NMI have always tried to arrange lecture sessions from which people in India can learn about art and cultures of other countries and enrich their knowledge. Canada is a fine example of how indigenous art can be prevented and I hope these four days will be very fruitful for the audience.”
During the course of these four days, people will be able to know more on topics such as Aanischaaukamikw Cree Culture Institute: Culture and Heritage in the Canadian Subarctic, The Unbroken Line: Art and Culture of the West Coast, Inuit Art: Crafting an Economy, A First Peoples Hall in a History Museum.
The Aanischaaukamikw Cree Culture Lecture session will witness Dr. Inglis tracing the history and goals of Canada’s newest and most ambitious cultural project among Canadian First Nations. It describes some of the environmental, political and cultural challenges of locating a museum and cultural centre in a relatively isolated northern community rather than in the southern urban centres, where such institutions have traditionally functioned.
During the Unbroken Line series of lecture Dr. Inglis will describe the art of First Peoples of the west coast of North America and particularly their persistence and change since the arrival of Europeans in the 18th Century. The West Coast native art style is considered one of the richest and most complex that developed anywhere in the tribal world and has become a multimillion dollar industry as well as continuing to play a critical role in the traditional ceremonial life of the people of that region.
In the Inuit Art Lecture session Dr. Inglis will look at how a native people living in one of the harshest environments on earth developed several earth styles in the mid-20th century, drawing both on their own traditional skill and knowledge and influences from outside the arctic where they live. The sculptures and prints in these styles went on to become sought after and well known in North America and around the world, and became a staple for the economy of the Inuit as their nomadic hunting lifestyle was replaced by life in villages and towns.
The Final Lecture on A First Peoples Hall in a History Museum introduces issues in the representation of First Peoples in history museums, using as an example the Canadian Museum of Civilisation, Canada’s National Museum. The paper traces the ways that First Peoples have been included and excluded in the story of Nations and what initiatives are being taken to introduce new attitudes and information.