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NDN Trojan Horse: Tracing Postindian Survivance in Indigenous Art in the 1980s & Now, A Manifesto

Published to document two related exhibitions at McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University, NDN Trojan Horse (NDN signifies Indian), relates the decades-long struggle by which Indigenous artists and curators transformed Canadian museums into places where Indigenous art is collected and studied, thereby addressing the systematic racism that resulted in the historical absence of Indigenous peoples in the nation’s cultural institutions. Through exhaustive research, a judicious selection of artists, and interviews with two trailblazing Indigenous curators, Chartrand provides much needed critical thinking on Indigenous/museum relations in Canada.

Unapologetic: Acts of Survivance (2017), features major works from the 1980s and acknowledges the critical role these artists played in paving the way for Indigenous artists and curators today. Through powerful and provocative works these artists replaced inaccurate and stereotypical images with assertions of Indigenous peoples’ rights to self-representation, self-determination and sovereignty. Coyote School (2017) features contemporary works by mid-career artists who acknowledge the influence of senior Indigenous artists on the development of their own artistic practice. Influence comes in many forms, through familial and kinship bonds, formal and informal mentorships, and artistic inspiration.

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Rheanne Chartrand (Author), Gerald McMaster (Author), Richard Hill (Author)