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Arthur Shilling

In May 1983 Shilling was one of 7 Canadian artists invited by Governor General Edward Schreyer to show at Rideau Hall, Ottawa. His paintings are in many corporate and private collections throughout North America. His life is documented in the film The Beauty of My People (NFB, 1978).

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Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Coast Salish and Okanagan (see Interior Salish) artist and activist (born in 1957 at Kamloops, British Columbia). Yuxweluptun trained at the Emily Carr College of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art and Design) in the late 1970s and early 1980s, focusing on historical European art. His paintings employ both traditional Northwest Coast imagery (see Northwest Coast Indigenous Art) and surrealist visual language to critique colonialism, racism against Indigenous peoples, capitalism, and environmental destruction, among other issues. In addition to paintings, Yuxweluptun has produced multimedia artworks, videos and performances that are political in nature. In 2013, Yuxweluptun was awarded a Fellowship at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, USA. Yuxweluptun’s art is featured in the permanent collections of many prominent galleries and museums in North America.

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Freda Diesing

Freda Diesing, Haida artist (born 2 June 1925 in Prince Rupert, BC; died there 3 December 2002). Diesing was best known for her contributions to reviving traditional Haida art forms, including wood carving, mask carving and totem carving. She was one of the few women carvers who mastered the medium, and was partly responsible for bringing the style to an international audience. Diesing worked to ensure the style and tradition of Haida art was passed on to new generations. (See also Northwest Coast Indigenous Art and Contemporary Indigenous Art in Canada.)

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Alex Janvier

Alex Simeon Janvier, CM, painter (born 28 Feb 1935 on Le Goff reserve, Cold Lake First Nations, near Bonnyville, AB). Recipient of the Governor General's Award for Visual and Media Arts, and a Member of the Order of Canada, Alex Janvier is often referred to as the first Indigenous modernist artist in Canada. Janvier is also one of the founding members of Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., also known as the Indian Group of Seven. His work is in major museum collections throughout Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of History, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Winnipeg Art Gallery. (See also Contemporary Indigenous Art in Canada.)

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Jackson Beardy

Jackson Beardy (also known as Quincy Pickering Jackson Beardy), Oji-Cree artist (born 24 July 1944 in Island Lake, MB; died 8 December 1984 in Winnipeg, MB). Beardy was part of the Woodlands School of Indigenous art, and in 1973 he became part of a group of Indigenous artists popularly known as the Indian Group of Seven. His stylized artworks — sometimes painted on canvas, birch bark or beaver skins — were often concerned with the interdependence of humans and nature. They also tended to depict figures from Ojibwe and Cree oral traditions. From the late 1960s to his death in the early 1980s, Beardy promoted Indigenous art as a valid category of contemporary art. His influence as a Woodland artist has contributed to the development of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada.

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Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau (called Miskwaabik Animiiki in Anishinaabemowin, meaning “Copper Thunderbird”), CM, artist (born 14 March 1931 or 1932 in Northern Ontario; died 4 December 2007 in Toronto, ON). Morrisseau was a self-taught artist of Ojibwe ancestry. He is best known for originating the Woodland School style in contemporary Indigenous art. His deep spirituality and cultural connections guided his career, which spanned five decades. Morrisseau is considered a trailblazer for contemporary Indigenous artists across Canada.

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Carl Beam

​Carl Beam (Carl Edward Migwans), artist (born 24 May 1943 in West Bay, Manitoulin Island, ON [now M’Chigeeng First Nation]; died 30 July 2005 in M’Chigeeng First Nation). The first contemporary Indigenous artist whose work was acquired by the National Gallery of Canada, Beam was one of Canada’s most ground-breaking Indigenous artists. (See also Contemporary Indigenous Art in Canada.)

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Carl Ray

Carl Ray, Cree artist, illustrator, editor and art teacher (born January 1943 in Sandy Lake, ON; died 26 September 1978 in Sioux Lookout, ON). Ray was known for his innovative paintings in the Woodlands style and was a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. Ray’s work has influenced Indigenous art in Canada and can be found in the collections of various galleries and museums across the country.

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Buffy Sainte-Marie

Beverly Sainte-Marie, CC, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, social activist, philanthropist, visual artist (born 20 February 1941 on Piapot Reserve, SK). Buffy Sainte-Marie is a pioneering and influential singer-songwriter. She specializes in love songs and music with a political and social-activist focus. She was an important figure in the Greenwich Village and Toronto folk music revivals in the 1960s, and is perhaps best known for her 1964 anti-war anthem “Universal Soldier.” It was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. Sainte-Marie also won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and an Academy Award for co-writing the hit song “Up Where We Belong.” She has received the Polaris Music Prize and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, as well as multiple Juno Awards, Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, lifetime achievement awards and honorary degrees. A Companion of the Order of Canada, she has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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Arthur Watkins Crisp

Arthur Watkins Crisp, painter, muralist, designer (b at Hamilton, Ont 26 Apr 1881; d at Biddeford Pool, Maine 28 June 1974). He studied at the Hamilton Art School under John S. Gordon (1898-99) and at the Art Students League, New York (1900-03).

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Arlene Stamp

Arlene Stamp, painter (b at London, Ont 4 June 1938). Stamp studied art at the Alberta College of Art and Design (1974-76) and the University of Calgary (BFA, 1979, and post-graduate studies from 1979-80). Previously she had studied mathematics at the University of Western Ontario (BA, 1960).

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Joseph Sánchez

Joseph Marcus Sánchez, artist, curator (born 24 February 1948 in Trinidad, Colorado, United States). In 1970, Joseph Sánchez travelled to Canada, settling in Richer, Manitoba. He became a founding member of Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., known widely as the Indian Group of Seven. Sánchez remained in Canada until 1975-76, leaving a lasting impact on the recognition and exposure of First Nations art and artists. Sánchez went on to become a community elder and political activist. He has worked as a museum director and curator for major galleries and exhibitions. His artwork has been exhibited extensively in Canada, the United States and Europe, and he has provided essays for a number of exhibition catalogues.

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A. Y. Jackson

Alexander Young Jackson, CC, painter (born 3 October 1882 in Montréal, QC; died 5 April 1974 in Kleinburg, ON). A Companion of the Order of Canada and recipient of a medal for lifetime achievement from the Royal Canadian Academy, A.Y. Jackson was a leading member of the Group of Seven and helped to remake the visual image of Canada.

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Paul-Émile Borduas

Paul-Émile Borduas, painter (b at St-Hilaire, Qué 1 Nov 1905; d at Paris, France 22 Feb 1960). Leader of the Automatistes and main author of the manifesto Refus Global, he had a profound influence on art in Québec.