Human Rights Office

Human Rights Office
Human Rights Office

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"Into the Light"

William Monague


Artist's Biography

Ojibwa Artist William Monague grew up on Christian Island, home of the Beausoleil First Nation People and currently resides in Midland, Ontario. The self-taught artist left his Beausoleil First Nation reserve in the 1970's and spent the 1980's traveling the Pow Wow circuit selling native arts and crafts. Soon after, his three daughters Wausa, Wabie and Awasis were born. On the trail, original paintings, carvings and quill work were acquired by curators from the Washington Museum of Fine Art, Turtle Art Gallery New York, Royal Ontario Museum, and Whetung's Art Gallery among others. During this time William was awarded Most Unique Native Artist in Alberta and British Columbia shows. Monague Native Crafts Inc. was established through extensive travel subsisting with the family in his 1979 GMC van while selling arts and crafts. The business he started in Mission, BC has become one of Canada's leading global producers and suppliers of native products. From humble beginnings to present day he maintains the same dedication to his artwork and skill with works being commissioned and obtained by numerous educational establishments, collectors, native/non-native businesses, corporations and organizations.

Many awards and recognition have been acquired throughout his career including a Lifetime Achievement Award. During the spring of 1998 his son William Aries was born and the artistic endeavor of "Snowy and the Otter" began. Canada Council for the Arts recognized and supported the artistic endeavour. The project is still in the works for the artist and his Metis wife Brenda. The adventures of "Snowy and the Otter" will offer young and old, a fun and memorable journey into the diminishing legends, language and culture of the Inuit and Ojibwa.

William, Brenda and youngest daughter Kate enjoy sharing their culture by participating at pow wows, conferences, cultural events and offer workshops within their community. William's Art Studio is located at their century old home in downtown midland, Ontario.

Artist's Statement