Welcome to the Medicine Project. This site is the fourth installment in a series of websites grunt has produced over the past four years. The first in this series, First Nations Performance (2005), curated by Daina Warren and designed by Jay Thompson, features performance work by Aboriginal artists produced at grunt from 1990 to 2005. The second, First Vision (2006), demonstrates the curatorial vision of three important Vancouver curators and artists—Archer Pechawis, Daina Warren and Tania Willard—using our archives as source material. Last year, the Aboriginal Creators Project (2007) produced three sites featuring the work of Rebecca Belmore (curated by Daina Warren), Dana Claxton (curated by Tania Willard) and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (curated by Elaine Moyah) that put a wealth of contemporary Aboriginal work on the net.
Our new project, Medicine, looks at Aboriginal notions of medicine and how they influence the lives of First Nations people and artists today. But the lessons they teach us about living within the world have resonances far beyond the First Nations’ communities. As the environmental crisis looms larger, holistic ideas of living in the world become more and more important to our wellbeing and to our survival. The artists in Medicine all embrace more holistic views of the world than we see in most western cultures, and notions of healing in many different forms resound in the work.
At grunt we are just beginning to develop educational programming; brunt magazine and our websites represent a resource for teachers and students both in Canada and beyond. The sites demonstrate the vitality and quality of art being produced in Canada during the present time within Canadian Aboriginal communities. Medicine has been designed to explore and develop this educational role. A study guide will be available in the fall for teachers and public to further explore notions of Medicine and their implications on post-modern life.
I would be remiss not to credit the fine web design and construction by Archer Pechawis. Thanks to him and to the curators Dana Claxton and Skeena Reece for their work. Also thanks to Mary Ann Anderson for her administrative support, Hillary Wood for her editing, and to the writers who have allowed their work to be reproduced here. Finally, thanks to the artists themselves for their participation in this project.
The Medicine Project is funded through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Gateway Fund, a program that makes contemporary First Nations cultural material available to all Canadians. We gratefully acknowledge the support from Canadian Culture Online for making all this possible. As well, we thank the City Of Vancouver’s Diversity Program for their support of Skeena Reece’s participation in the project.
Enjoy these sites and check out brunt, the print and online journal of our activities. Together they represent a rich resource of contemporary work in Canada.