ABOUT THE PROJECT
Launched at Six Nations Tourism, and now taking place at Kayanase Six Nations, Grand River Arts is an arts based project that brings together children from Six Nations and their neighbours.
Community members of all generations are invited to support the shared space. Reflecting Haudenosaunee knowledges and perspectives, this project also seeks to build understanding and relationships between First Nations children and their non-First Nations neighbours. Young artists are invited to articulate these themes in their artworks. The project works towards having children develop and showcase this artwork in a public exhibition.
The project includes the following components:
- Teaching and mentorship by First Nations and non-First Nations professional artists from neighbouring communities.
- The creation of quality, child-centered artworks
- The creation and curation of final art exhibition involving children artists, professional artists, and community members.
- This final exhibition for 2018 will be shared at Kayanase.
The year 2016 marked the 10th year of a land Reclamation/ land rights dispute in southern Ontario between the Crown represented by the Federal Government and Six Nations of the Grand River Territory which placed the neighbouring communities of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and Caledonia in conflict.
In 2006, a teacher from Six Nations began a relationship project reaching out to a class in Caledonia to begin a pen pal initiative between the youth. See www.penpalproject.ca for more information.
Each year the Pen Pals Project has included collective and individual art components expressing learning, cultural exchange, knowledge sharing, and the growing relationship between communities.
Pen Pals, embraced by organizations, schools, teachers and students, has evolved yearly, and includes approximately 1800 students annually.
Grand River Arts has grown out of the almost 10 years of relationship building that continues between these neighbouring communities.