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Cody Lecoy, Lions Gate Bridge. Acrylic on canvas 24 x 36 in

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC presents a unique look at contemporary art viewed through the lens of Indigenous youth in its new exhibition Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth, beginning on June 1 and running to January 4, 2015.

Curated by MOA’s Pam Brown together with Curatorial Assistant Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, this thought-provoking, radical exhibition examines the diverse ways in which urban Aboriginal youth identify with their environment – both in urban spaces and ancestral territories.

“Unfiltered and unapologetic, this exhibition unites more than 25 young artists, ages 15 to 25, from across Canada, the US, Norway, and New Zealand to define what it means to be an urban Aboriginal youth in today’s society,” says MOA Curatorial Assistant Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers. “In doing so, they challenge centuries of stereotyping and assimilative policies. This exhibit will leave visitors with the understanding that today’s urban Aboriginal youth are not only acutely aware of the ongoing impacts of colonization, but are also creatively engaging with decolonizing movements through new and traditional art forms.”

Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth presents a wide-ranging, heavily politicized collection of film, fashion, photography, painting, performance, creative writing, new media, and more. The diversity of works offers a timely and vital understanding of urban Aboriginal youth culture and contexts.

Artists in the exhibition include Alison Bremner (Tlingit), Deanna Bittern (Ojibwe), Jamie Blankenship-Attig (Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, Nez Perce, Muskoday Cree), Kelli Clifton (Tsimshian), Jeneen Frei Njootle (Gwichin), Ippiksaut Friesen (Inuit), Clifton Guthrie (Tsimshian), Cody Lecoy (Okanagan/Esquimalt), Arizona Leger (Fijian, Samoan, Tongan, Maori), Danielle Morsette (Stó:lō /Suquamish), Ellena Neel (Kwakwaka’wakw/Ahousaht), Zach Soakai (Tongan, Samoan), Diamond Point (Musqueam), Crystal Smith de Molina (Git’ga’at), Nola Naera (Maori), Kelsey Sparrow (Musqueam/Anishinabe), Cole Speck (Kwakwaka’wakw), Rose Stiffarm (Siksika Blackfoot, Chippewa Cree, Tsartlip Saanich, Cowichan, A’aninin, Nakoda, French, & Scottish), Taleetha Tait (Wet’suwet’en), Marja Bål Nango (Sámi, Norway), Harry Brown (Kwakwaka’wakw), Anna McKenzie (Opaskwayak Cree, Manitoba), Sarah Yankoo (Austrian, Scottish, Algonquin, Irish and Romanian), Raymond Caplin (Mi’gmac), Emilio Wawatie (Anishanabe) and the Northern Collection (Toombz/Shane Kelsey [Mohawk], and the Curse/Cory Golder [Mi’maq]).

Also included in the exhibition are works from the Urban Native Youth Association, Musqueam Youth, and the Native Youth Program. Visit the MOA website for opening times, museum admission, and updated info.

Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth

Dates: June 1, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Venue: Museum of Anthropology at UBC, 6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver
Official exhibition opening celebrations will take place on Sunday, June 1 from 1 to 4 pm

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