Teachers Lesson Plans

Aboriginal Voices in Canadian Contemporary Art

Aboriginal
Aboriginal
Definition: Aboriginal encompasses Indian, Inuit and Métis people living in Canada.

Carl Beam
The North American Iceberg, 1985

Collage
Collage
Definition: Collage from the French word coller (to stick), collage is a work created by gluing material to a surface. By doing so, the artist incorporates actual fragments of the real world.

Carl Beam
Colombus Chronicles, 1992

Colour-field
Colour-field
Definition: Paintings with solid areas of colour covering the entire canvas and by suggestion into infinity. Most colour-field paintings are large and meant to be seen very close so that the viewer is immersed in a colour environment.

Robert Houle
Mohawk Parflèche, 1990
© R. Houle

Contemporary
Contemporary
Definition: An art current, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but may refer to being current with any specified time.

Brian Jungen
Shapeshifter, 2000

Métis
Métis
Definition: Métis are a distinct cultural group whose members, of mixed Indian and French, Scottish or Irish ancestry, are descended from people who established settlements in the Red, Assiniboine and Saskatchewan River valleys during the nineteenth century.

Bob Boyer
A Minor Sport in Canada, 1985
© Bob Boyer

Parfleche
Parfleche
Definition: Parfleche are rawhide containers, similar in construction to an envelope but can be as large as a suitcase made by the Aboriginal peoples of the Plains. They were often painted and decorated and used to carry personal and ceremonial objects.

Photo: © Canadian Museum of Civilization, image number: S96-5478

Print
Print
Definition: Shape or mark made from a block or plate or other object that is covered with wet colour (usually ink) and then pressed onto a flat surface, such as paper or textile. Most prints can be reproduced over and over again by re-inking the printing block or plate.

Carl Beam
The North American Iceberg, 1985

Spiritual
Spiritual
Definition: A practice that is concerned with sacred or religious things. It is a belief that is concerned with the higher qualities of the mind, and of the spirit, as opposed to matter.

Robert Houle
The Place Where God Lives, 1989
© R. Houle

Symbol
Symbol
Definition: Symbol is a colour or object which represents something else. Eg. In Carl Beam's work, the traffic light represents the patterned behaviours that regulate our lives.

Faye HeavyShield
Untitled, 1992