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Winnipeg Art Gallery Making Good

For Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Contemporary and Indigenous Art, the name for the exhibition came from a discussion she had with her grandmother.

"I was asking her if there was an Anishnabemowin word for reconciliation," said Isaac. "We had a really good chat about it. She's actually part of the elders council that I formed for this exhibition because it came about really fast."

"Qua'yuk tchi'gae'win" (pronounce kway-yuk chee-gay-win) means Making Good in the Ojibway language and that is the name of the exhibition that came about in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?s calls to action. The exhibit shares experiences of intergenerational survivors from First Nations, Inuit, and M?tis peoples, as well as intercultural perspectives for a broader Canadian narrative.

Isaac said, "I was talking to her to see if there was a word for reconciliation. She thought about this word in making good or the honour of making things right. And I think that speaks to reconciliation but I also think that the term "reconciliation" thinks about those relationships."

For Isaac, this exhibition builds on the previous exhibit "We are on Treaty Land" adding more knowledge to the mix. 

It brings together pieces from the WAG?s permanent collection by artists including Kudluajuk Ashoona, Carl Beam, Leah Decter, Rosalie Favell, Robert Houle, Lita Fontaine, Simon Hughes, Alex Janvier, Jessie Oonark, Jane Ash Poitras, Miriam Qiyuk, David Ruben Piqtoukun, and Arthur Renwick. The exhibition also presents works loaned from the University of Manitoba, and incorporates related archival collections from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

The show is spread over three levels and even non-Indigenous art works are part of the exhibit.

"I think it has to be an intercultural dialogue and narrative because it's a collective history. It's not just Native history. This is all of our history," said Isaac.

She said it's true even from those people who have come to Canada recently because sharing this land means that you have to acknowledge the history of this country. And know how you came to stand on this land.

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