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L’art autochtone aujourd’hui

MOOC Ohtehra’ : *l’art autochtone aujourd’hui*. MMFA/UQAM

The fruit of a partnership between the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Faculty of Arts and the MMFA, Ohtehra’ is a massive open online course (MOOC) developed in collaboration with a number of Indigenous artists. It offers a reading of history that draws on art works and objects in the MMFA’s Modern and Contemporary Art collection.

Created by MMFA curators and a team of UQAM art historians, this MOOC amplifies Indigenous voices and expertise. Guy Sioui Durand (Wendat), a lecturer in art history at UQAM, was consulted as an expert for the First Nations art content, and Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, Curator and Mediator of Inuit Art at the MMFA, oversaw the Inuit content.

This course is offered in French only.
It is accessible on the France Université Numérique (FUN) platform.


Course objectives

  • Provide an introduction to 20th- and 21st-century Indigenous art using important works in the MMFA’s collection, such as those in the Inuit Art and First Nations collections; the work of Inuit artists Shuvinai Ashoona and Ningeokuluk Teevee, Ojibwe artist Norval Morrisseau and Cree artist Kent Monkman; as well as recent Museum acquisitions that have enabled several emerging artists to be represented in its collections (Meryl McMaster, Niap [Nancy Saunders], Meky Ottawa, Nico Williams and more).

  • Give an overview of relations between Indigenous peoples and European colonists from the 17th century to today. A number of the contemporary Indigenous artworks to be studied depict the history of these relations, notably from a critical perspective.

Ningiukulu Teevee (born in 1963), Nujangit – Her Hair, 2017, wax crayon and coloured pencil over traces of graphite, on black paper. MMFA, purchase, Serge Desroches Bequest. © Reproduced with the permission of Dorset Fine Arts. Photo MMFA, Christine Guest
Norval Morrisseau (1932-2007), Shaman and Apprentice, late 1970s.
Kent Monkman (born in 1965), The King’s Beavers, 2011
Meryl McMaster (born in 1988), Ancestral 14, from the series  « Ancestral », 2009.
Nancy Saunders (Niap) (born in 1986), Nora, 2019.
  • Be part of the ongoing movement to affirm Indigenous cultures by giving the floor to Indigenous artists, art historians and curators. The artworks are explored through recorded interviews with 22 Indigenous figures: artists (Shuvinai Ashoona, Rebecca Belmore, Alanis Obomsawin, Nadia Myre, David Garneau and more), historians, art historians, curators and conservators (Caroline Nepton Hotte, Jonathan Lainey, Sylvie Paré, Carmen Robertson). The MOOC team also travelled to Indigenous communities (Cape Dorset, Odanak, Wendake) to film heritage sites, and meet artists and Elders in their territories.
Shuvinai Ashoona (born in 1961), Happy Mother, 2013
Rebecca Belmore (born in 1960), Mixed Blessing, 2011.
Alanis Obomsawin (born in 1932), Mother of So Many Children IV, 2004.
Nadia Myre (born in 1974), Indian Act, 2000-2002.
David Garneau (born in 1962), Not to Confuse Politeness with Agreement, 2013.

Teaching Team

  • Caroline Nepton Hotte, Professor of Art History, UQAM
  • Léuli Eshrāghi, Curator of Indigenous Arts, MMFA
  • Guy Sioui Durand, lecturer at the Kiuna Institution and UQAM
  • Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, Curator and Mediator of Inuit Art, MMFA
  • Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Chief Curator of the MMFA
  • Jacques Des Rochers, Senior Curator of Quebec and Canadian Art, MMFA
  • Iris Amizlev, Curator – Community Engagement and Projects, MMFA
  • Dominic Hardy, Professor of Art History and Director of Graduate Programs in Museology, UQAM
  • Edith-Anne Pageot, Professor of Art History, UQAM, and member of the Centre interuniversitaire d’études et de recherches autochtones (CIÉRA)
  • Jean-Philippe Uzel, Professor of Art History, UQAM
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