Indigenous Youth Climate Art Contest
In 2019 the Fraser Basin Council invited Indigenous youth who live in BC to to participate in an art contest with the opportunity for those with winning proposals to create visual stories about their perspectives on BC’s changing climate.
Thanks to everyone who applied to the Indigenous Youth Climate Art Contest. There were many impressive applications that were very well-received — so kudos and appreciation all round. The winning art pieces were created by five youth artists and subsequently featured in the 2022 BC Chapter of the Regional Assessment (Canada’s 2020 national assessment report on climate change: Canada in a Changing Climate). The artists also attended FBC's Adaptation Canada 2020 conference where they displayed their original art.
Art Contest Winners
Here are the five winners of the art contest, in alphabetical order — congratulations to all!
Leah Anthony, Nak’azdli Band
Adrian Rain Flinn, James Bay Cree, Mistissini
Sarah Jim, Tseycum First Nation, W̱SÁNEĆ
Coralee Miller, Sylix, Okanagan Nation
Veronica Rose Waechter, Gitxsan Nation
Art Contest Judges
Tsēmā Igharas and Sheldon Pierre Louis were the Indigenous Youth Climate Art Contest judges. We are very grateful for the work that Tsēmā and Sheldon undertook and for the vast expertise that they contributed to the art judging process.
Tsēmā Igharas is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Tahltan First Nation. She uses Potlatch methodology to create compelling performance work and installations. Her practice is informed by Northwest Coast Formline Design, her studies in visual culture and time spent in the mountains. Her unique approach is a way to challenge the colonial value system and relation to the land, and to promote, through methods of care, strategies of resistance.
Igharas has a Bachelor's degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program at OCADu. She is a member of ReMatriate Collective; a founding member of the first Tahltan NGO, Tu’dese’cho Wholistic Indigenous Leadership Development; has won the 2018 Emily Award for outstanding ECUAD alumni; and has shown and performed in numerous places in Canada and internationally in Mexico, the USA and Chile.
Sheldon Pierre Louis, a member of the Syilx Nation, is a multi-disciplinary Syilx Artist. Sheldon's ancestral roots have influenced his works in painting, drawing, carving and sculpting. Sheldon sits on the board of directors for the Arts Council of the North Okanagan in his second term as well sits at the board for the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives. His work has been published in the Arts and Council Guide for the North Okanagan 2016 and 2017. Sheldon assisted Okanagan Indian Band attaining the 2016 FPCC Youth Engaged in the Arts Award. He is the lead visual artist of the Kama? Creative Aboriginal Arts Collective & is a member of Ullus Collective, both groups based in Syilx Art. As a member of the Re-Think 150: Indigenous Truth Collective Sheldon has worked on a youth mural in conjunction with the Kelowna Secondary School's Honours Art 12 class
Administration of Art Contest
Denni Clement, ʔinismin Paⱡkiy, is a Ktunaxa climate change writer, consultant and community organizer from ʔAq'am. She was the lead organizer for the Indigenous Youth Climate Art Contest. She was also responsible for writing the Indigenous perspectives contribution for the BC chapter of the national assessment on climate change. It was important to Denni to ensure that Indigenous youth voices were included in the national assessment. Denni expresses appreciation to the judges, the youth artists and Fraser Basin Council for making this vision a reality. Denni holds a Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the University of Victoria and is a dancer performing regularly with Indigenous women’s groups in Victoria.
Support for the project was provided by Cait Murphy and Denise Palmer Hoskins of the Fraser Basin Council.