As previously stated, Arts Habitat is working with Neheyawin to meet with Indigenous artists with the intention to discuss barriers to arts space faced by Indigenous Artists. We are committed to gaining an understanding of the barriers that Indigenous artists may face in regards to space. The Indigenous Voices Circle has brought together a collection of voices and as we begin getting to know one another in what is known as the forming stage, Arts Habitat is eager to learn and share.
The group’s purpose will be to provide Arts Habitat with knowledge, community connections, and long-term guidance necessary to understand how we can aid in ensuring all Edmontonians feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to peoples, places, and stories. We are excited to be active participants in the open dialogue rather than be inactive observers. As we continue to build a strong working relationship, the Indigenous Voice Circle is cognizant of developing the areas of focus we feel are necessary. The first few meetings have brought an awareness that communicating the meaning behind the words we use is necessary to ensure we all appreciate where we are speaking from.
Collaborating to build a shared language will lay a foundation for respectful connections to build on and allow participants to explain their perception of terms openly and honestly. It will continue to be meaningful and vital to our work on the Cultural Infrastructure Plan.
Arts Habitat looks forward to continuing to broaden our knowledge in the coming months.