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In pictures: Highlights from Newfoundland and Labrador's first indigenous arts symposium

Newfoundland and Labrador hosted its first indigenous arts conference this past weekend in Happy Valley Goose Bay.

Event held in Happy Valley Goose Bay showcased items from whale bone sculpture to seal skin

A drum seen at a drum-making workshop in Happy Valley Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, part of the first ever NL Indigenous Arts Symposium. (Angela Antle)

Newfoundland and Labrador hosted To Light The Fire, its first indigenous arts symposium this past weekend in Happy Valley Goose Bay. The symposium included representatives from the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut as well as Labrador's Innu and Metis, and Mi'kmaq from the Qualipu and Miawpukek nations, and attendees hope this is the beginning of a renaissance recognizing the creativity in NL's indigenous communities.

In this photo, curator and Concordia University art professor Heather Igloliorte and her aunt Miriam Lyall light the qilliq, a traditional seal oil lamp, to open an exhibit called "SakKijâjuk: Inuit Fine Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut." The exhibition, which ran concurrently with the symposium, will tour to The Rooms provincial art museum in St. John's in 2016, followed by other major art galleries across the country.


 

Inez Shiwak of Rigolet, Labrador made this seal skin piece for SakKijâjuk. As well as an artist using traditional materials, Shiwak is also a digital storyteller working with Inuk around the world to spread awareness of how global warming is affecting the mental health of Inuit.


 

Jason Jacque carved this wonderful piece, called "Shaman," out of bone, wood and serpentine. Jacque is one of many carvers and artisans working in very remote coastal communities along the Labrador coast.


 

Textile artist Chantelle Andersen designed and sewed a traditional Amauti with Kamika, a hood for carrying infants, giving it a contemporary twist with embroidery.


 

Mary B. Anderson created these died suede mitts with rabbit fur cuffs.


 

These beaded boots with sealskin calves are called Kimiks. They're made by Vanessa Flowers of Hopedale, Labrador.


 

As part of the symposium, workshops were held to share skills and create connections between indigenous craftspeople, artists and curators. Carvers like Stan Hill shared their knowledge and techniques; his polar bear sculpture is made from very porous whale bone. 


 

Julia Blanchard and Arlene White Blanchard are fancy shawl dancers from Quallipu. They gave a dance workshop at the symposium.


 

In this photo, Ola Andersen is learning to make a traditional Mi'kmaq moose-hide drum.


 

Inuit filmmaker Isabella Weetaluktuk, seen here with storyboards from her work, gave a workshop where she demystified her process for developing an NFB film that will combine animation, archival film and possibly virtual reality.


 

This fantastic drum dancer by Mike Massie is one of the SakKijâjuk items that will go on tour later this year.

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