About the Project

History of the First Peoples’ Arts Map The First Peoples’ Arts Map grew out of a desire to create a place for the Aboriginal arts community of B.C. to share their work, connect with one another and to more easily access the resources they need to do their work. The idea of developing an online living map to do this was born from a series of ‘cultural mapping’ workshops organized by the First Peoples’ Council in 2005, 2007 and 2009. These cultural mapping sessions gathered artists, arts administrators and community leaders from across B.C. to map out the elements that contribute to a thriving arts community. Through appreciative exploration exercises, the groups identified the significant aspects of their arts ecosystems, such as:

  • Artists’ relationships with their community, history, place, and with other artists and organizations;
  • Resources crucial to artistic vitality, such as materials from the land, mentors, studios, galleries, events grants and,
  • Forces that influence the success of their work, including collaboration, sense of community, connections to history and spirit, and meeting with like-minded people.

These meetings were also an opportunity for arts and culture champions from across the province to discuss their shared concerns and come up with solutions. All of these explorations were graphically illustrated by the group through creative exercises. This physical mapping of the processes allowed the groups to make connections between everything they had discussed and to see how they fit into this network of relationships and forces. This online living map is a manifestation of all the ideas and connections made at these cultural mapping sessions. It provides an online environment where Aboriginal artists, groups and organizations can put themselves on the map and make connections within the arts community. We would like to acknowledge everyone who participated in the work leading up to the creation of the First Peoples Arts Map.

Click on this link for detailed acknowledgment of contributors and supporters.

The roots of the project lie in the cultural mapping sessions we organized in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The hard work and creative thinking of many people has contributed to the foundation of this interactive online arts map.

The following people participated in the First Peoples' Cultural Mapping sessions: Stan Bevan (Tahltan/Tlingit/Tsimshian) - Freda Diesing School of Art Sharon Bird (Carrier) - Nak'azdli Band Chris Bose (Secwepemc) - Independent arts administrator and artist Linda Bristol (Salish) - T'Sou'ke Arts Group Karen Charlie (Salish) - Family to Family Drim Group Paula Cranmer (Sto:lo) -Underhill) - previously of Sto:lo Tourism/Artisan Centre Joanne Finlay (Tsimshian) - Salmonberry Trading Co. Society Rosemary Georgeson (Coast Salish) - urban ink Sharifah Marsden (Anishnabe) - Native Youth Artists Collective Ken McNeil (Tahltan/Tlingit/Nisga'a) - Freda Diesing School of Art Patricia Moore (Haida) - Independent arts administrator Garry Oker (Dene) - North East Art Works Society Rose Spahan (Coast Salish) - Independent curator and artist Betty Wilson (Sliammon) - previously of Sliammon Band Public School Vania Stager (Lil’wat) - Lil'wat Cultural Centre Lois Joseph (Lil’wat) - Lil'wat Cultural Centre Russell Myers (Tsilhqot'in) - Independent artist Sharon Jules (Shuswap) - Neskonlith Indian Band Lonnie Mather -Chard (Tsimshian) - Mather Arts Chad Eneas (Syilx/Okanagan) - En'owkin Centre Irene Mills (Haida) - Independent administrator, artist, previously with MARR - Facilitation team Sylvie Cottell (Metis) - Independent administrator and artist - Facilitation team France Trepanier (Mohawk) - Independent administrator and artist - Facilitation team Ainjil Hunt (Kwagiulth) - Independent consultant - Facilitation team Cathi Charles Wherry (Anishnabe) - First People Heritage, Language and Culture Council Alex Wadsworth - First People Heritage, Language and Culture Council The late Andrea Sanborn (Kwagiulth) - former Executive Director of U'mista Cultural Centre