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.
Announcing the Art Contest Winners
We are delighted to share 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
The artwork from this contest will be showcased in Canada’s 2020 national assessment report on climate change titled Canada in a Changing Climate.
The national assessment is an initiative that assesses the impacts of climate change and the ways all levels of government are managing climate-related risks. The purpose of the assessment is to raise awareness of key issues and provide information to support sound decisions and actions.
This artwork will creatively enhance the report and promote better understanding, respect for, and representation of Indigenous youth perspectives in Canada’s national assessment on climate change. (For more information on the national assessment visit the National Assessment website.)
Introducing the Art Contest Judges
Tēmā Igharas and Sheldon Pierre Louis were the Indigenous Youth Climate Art Contest judges. We are very grateful for the work that Tēmā and Sheldon undertook and for the vast expertise that they contributed to the art judging process.
Tēmā 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 is the lead organizer for the Indigenous Youth Climate Art Contest. She is responsible for writing the Indigenous perspectives contribution for the BC chapter of the national assessment on climate change. It was important to her to ensure Indigenous youth voices are included in the national assessment.. Denni is appreciative 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.
Background on the Art Contest
Please note that Indigenous Youth Climate Art Contest is now closed. The winners have been announced, and final submissions of artwork will be made by December 7, 2019. This description of the art contest criteria is for information only.
What themes can be explored in the art?
Artistic exploration of climate change may include one or more of the following themes:
What type of artwork is invited?
Visual artworks in a variety of media, including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, beadwork or other Indigenous visual arts are welcome.
Who is eligible?
The contest is open to youth of Indigenous ancestry (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) between the ages of 16 and 30 who reside in BC. Artists of all experience levels are encouraged to apply.
How can I participate?
If you are interested in participating, Please submit the following information:
What is the deadline for applications?
Applications are due by the extended deadline: September 29, 2019.
What is the selection process?
The Fraser Basin Council will select up to five winning proposals from among the submissions received. Winners will be announced October 16.
Participants will invest their time and resources in creating artwork only after their proposals have been selected. This process ensures they will be paid for their time and talent.
What are the prizes?
Each winning participant will receive $1,000, upon completion of their artwork. All artwork must be submitted with high resolution digital images or files no later than December 7, 2019 (extended deadline). A contract will be created to outline this agreement.
Who owns the artwork?
Artists will retain ownership of and rights to their artwork. The only requirement of each participant is to make their artwork available for use in the national assessment report, as noted above, as well as the Fraser Basin Council websites. Possible opportunities for an exhibit of the art will be explored. An exhibit would be subject to funding availability and the permission of participating artists.
The Fraser Basin Council will not own the rights to the artwork and would need to seek advance approval of each artist before using that artist’s work in any other way.
Indigenous youth have so much to teach the world about climate change.