7.3: FNIM – First Nations, Indigenous and Metis & Artists

Excerpt from: https://opentextbc.ca/postconfederation/chapter/11-10-canada-and-the-colonized-1970-2002/

The American Indian Movement (AIM) appeared in the late 1960s in the United States. Sometimes described as Red Power (in a nod to the Afro-American Black Power movement), AIM inevitably reached across the border to Canadian First Nations with shared grievances against colonialist forces. Beginning in 1970, AIM-style demonstrations appeared in Canada including road blockades, the occupation of government offices, and attempts to seize lands that had either been unilaterally cut out of reserves or never covered by treaty. The frequency of protests increased through the decade, many of which became high profile confrontations. In the North West Territories, Dene mobilized to block the proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. A Royal Commission from 1974 to 1977, chaired by Justice Thomas Berger (b. 1933), accepted much of the Dene case and called for extensive land settlement agreements before the pipeline project could proceed. Effectively, this established a moratorium on a major infrastructural development, a significant win for Aboriginal activists. Similar confrontations took place in northern Quebec over the James Bay hydroelectric development program, a process that hardened Innu and Cree sentiment against Péquiste separatism.

Please Read:

Resistance Movements

Salinas, E.J., & Wittstock, L. W. (n.d.). A brief history of the American Indian Movement. American Indian Movement. Retrieved from https://www.aimovement.org/ggc/history.html


The Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation (PNIAI)




Beau Dick


Watch: Maker Of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick here: https://gem.cbc.ca/media/maker-of-monsters-the-extraordinary-life-of-beau-dick/s01e01 

Annie Pootoogook

Jennifer Lorraine Fraser, Screenshot of Annie Pootoogook Life & Work, 2022

For Further Study:

Carnahan, Alanna. From Native Modernism to Native Feminism: Understanding Contemporary Native American Praxis. , 2019. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2272213336?pq-origsite=primo

Bailey, Jann L.M. “The Spirit of a Firebrand Artist: Daphne Odjig Brought Together the Indigenous Painting Community in Canada.” Herizons, vol. 31, no. 3, winter 2018, pp. 93+. Available over Academic library systems

Mark Watson (2015) Unsettled borders and memories: a “local” indigenous perspective on contemporary globalization, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 7:1, DOI: 10.3402/jac.v7.26583 

Aboriginal Rights



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Origins of Contemporary Art, Design, and Interiors Copyright © by Jennifer Lorraine Fraser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book