Julie Nagam
screenshot from white pines lay over the water published online at

Curator talk with Julie Nagam | A Home for Our Migrations: The Canoe as Indigenous Methodology

July 27, 2016 – 10am to 12pm

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to co-present with the Wood Land School A Home for Our Migrations: The Canoe as Indigenous Methodology by Plug In board member, artist, researcher and curator, Julie Nagam. In 2015, Nagam was appointed the first University of Winnipeg/Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) Chair in History of Indigenous Arts in North America, a unique joint position that involves research and teaching in the Department of History at U of W, and curatorial work at the WAG. In addition to being an active board member, educator and curator, Nagam has contributed to several national and international projects in the capacity of researcher, artist, and curator. Her interests are diverse, including new media, Futurism, and Inuit studies. Spatial relations, including alternative cartographies also occupy Nagam’s work. 

Nagam will speak about her work with canoeing, which has informed recent writing and artwork, as part of a series of discussions related to Wood Land School: Thunderbird Woman, this year’s iteration of Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute. WLS takes up the powerful imagery of Daphne Odjig’s Thunderbird Woman (1973) as a conceptual point of departure that articulates Indigenous agency, the roles of guardianship and protection, and the notion of transformation. Artist Duane Linklater and curator Jaimie Isaac lead a group of participants through a series of texts, films, field trips and studio time for three weeks in the city of Winnipeg. The Wood Land School: Thunderbird Woman opened its doors to the public on July 21st with a curator talk by Cathy Mattes, screening of a video by Darrly Nepinak and opening reception. Upcoming programing includes a talk with artist and curator, Michelle LaVallee Thursday July 28, 10am-12pm, and on Friday August 5th, join us for open studios with WLS participants and a wrap party, details to be confirmed.

As an active researcher, Nagam is leading several important initiatives. Current SSHRC projects include: The Transactive Memory Keepers: Indigenous Public Engagement in Digital and New Media Labs and Exhibitions and The Kanata Indigenous Performance, New and Digital Media Art. Her artistic and research practices often intersect, frequently taking up land as site of knowledge and position from which to address colonialism, dispossession and reclamation. She has published extensively, and curated notable exhibitions, including Concealed Geographies (co-curated with Suzanne Morrissette), and Lisa Rehiana’s in pursuit of Venus at A-Space Gallery in Toronto, Canada for ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Wood Land School participant-subsidies is generously supported by an anonymous donor. Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of our 2016 and 2017 program, and we extend gratitude to The Winnipeg Foundation and all our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers.

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For media inquiries please contact: Sarah Nesbitt at or by telephone at (204) 942-1043 ext 27.