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Awi’nakola: Regenerating Land and Culture

05.17.2023 11:30 AM

Event Summary

Guests participating in a social dance as part of the "Awi'nakola: Regenerating Land and Culture" event. Photo by Abel Arciniega

“Awi’nakola” (ah-weet-nah-kyo-lah) means “We are one with the land and the sea.” It is also the name for a foundation started by a group of Indigenous knowledge keepers, scientists, and artists working together to find effective responses to the climate crisis and to educate others through the process.

An introduction to Awi’nakola’s work in British Columbia from founder Rande Cook, artist and hereditary chief of the Ma’amtagila First Nation, was followed by lunch and small-group conversation where we asked, How does the notion of “regenerating land and culture” resonate in Chicago? In closing, Lindsay Delaronde (Kanienke’haka) led a social dance.

This program was part of the Awi’nakola artists’ week-long visit to Chicago to connect, share ideas, and plant seeds toward future collaborations. The Awi’nakola art team consists of artists Rande Cook (Ma’amtagila), Lindsay Delaronde (Kanienke’haka), Kelly Richardson, and Paul Walde—all based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia—and Chicago-based curator Stephanie Smith.

Co-sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry; Office of the Provost; Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity; and Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society; and by the Center for Native Futures. Additional support for the Awi’nakola artists’ visit is provided by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Watershed: Art + Ecology.

Learn more about Awi'nakola Chicago 2023