Indigenous art to appear in Law atrium

Indigenous art to appear in Law atrium

By Phil Gaudreau

September 20, 2017


The Faculty of Law.

The call has gone out seeking a piece of Indigenous artwork to reside in the Faculty of Law which will be used to welcome students, instructors, guests, and community members visiting the Faculty of Law.

“Queen’s University is situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory,” says Dean Bill Flanagan. “By honouring this traditional territory, we acknowledge the territory’s significance for the Indigenous peoples who lived, and continue to live, upon it. Having a work of art that reflects Indigenous culture and values in the entrance to our school will be one of many ways we honour this traditional territory and embrace Indigenous engagement in all that we do the Faculty of Law.”

Indigenous artists are being invited to apply to design, fabricate, and install a permanent artwork for the Gowling WLG Atrium of the Faculty of Law. The aim of this project is to create a welcoming space for Indigenous peoples in the Faculty of Law, and to help promote awareness around historical and contemporary issues relevant to Indigenous peoples and law.

The school’s atrium is a high-traffic hub visible from all floors of the building as well as the street. “The location is very exciting for us,” says Chantal Rousseau, Manager of International Programs and the project’s coordinator. “All students go through here, all faculty go through here, as well as visitors. It is a crossroads for the law school and will have a lot of meaning and resonance.”

The project is part of a greater initiative to increase the visibility of Indigenous art and culture and the recognition of Indigenous territory in spaces across the Queen’s University campus. The installation of this piece of art will represent part of the Faculty’s response to Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the final report of Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force – specifically the recommendation to ‘increase the presence of Indigenous cultures on campus’. A 12-person committee, representing all the Faculty’s major stakeholders and including seven Indigenous members, is overseeing the project.

“I am very pleased with the Indigenous art project initiative coming out of the Dean's office,” says committee member Jason Mercredi (Law’18), a Student Senator for the law school, and a member of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force. “This is a small but meaningful gesture of good faith towards reconciliation. This project also confirms Indigenous belonging within the law school community, which is particularly important in the study of colonial law.”

Interested artists can view the public art call. The artwork selected will be installed for unveiling in Fall 2018.