Resilience - 50 Indigenous Women Artists on Billboards Coast to Coast

Date: May 4, 2018

On June 01, 2018, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) was honoured to launch Resilience, an exhibition of artworks by fifty (50) Indigenous women artists, curated by Lee-Ann Martin.

This ground-breaking, contemporary exhibition took place coast to coast, on 167 billboards along highways and in cities, and on large-scale posters in Northern communities. It spanned a land in which too many First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and girls have gone missing.

Resilience was a creative act of reconciliation and response to Call #79 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. Call #79 encourages collaborations among Indigenous peoples and the arts community to develop a framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration.

Lee-Ann Martin, one of Canada’s foremost Indigenous (Mohawk) curators writes:

“For these artists, resilience is embodied as endurance, adaptability and sovereignty, in relation to customary practices, contemporary identities, the land, and the impact of colonial practices and strategies.”

The project took place between June 1, 2018 and Aug. 1, 2018. Billboard and poster locations could be found on the Resilience website (, which also features information about all 50 artists, an in-depth curatorial essay and a public responses page.

The AFA would like to recognize and congratulate the following selected artists who reside or have had their primary practice within Alberta:

Joane Cardinal-Schubert

Through her art and life, Joane Cardinal-Schubert honoured her identity as Kainai (Blackfoot), demonstrating her values of representing the Indigenous experience and history. She was a multi-media, visual, and installation artist, a writer, lecturer, free-lance curator and director of film and theatre. 

Tanya Harnett

Tanya Harnett is a member of the Carry-The-Kettle First Nations and an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta in a joint appointment in the Department of Art and Design and in the Faculty of Native Studies. Working in various media including, photography, drawing, printmaking and fiber, Harnett’s studio practice engages in the notions about politics, identity, history, spirituality and place. 

Amy Malbeuf

Amy Malbeuf is a multidisciplinary visual artist from Rich Lake, Alberta, Canada. She utilises a variety of mediums including performance, installation, sculpture, caribou hair tufting, beadwork, and digital media.

Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter

Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter is an Inuvialuk artist and curator based in Calgary/Banff, born in Yellowknife and raised in Edmonton. She uses art and humour as a coping mechanism to subtly address cultural displacement, and to openly address mental illness; the lighthearted nature of her practice extends gestures of empathy and solidarity.

Jane Ash Poitras

Jane Ash Poitras was born in the northern Alberta Cree community of Fort Chipewyan in 1951. She works in a variety of media including painting and mixed media collages that incorporate historical and contemporary symbols, newspaper clippings, and painted elements.

Jessie Short

Jessie Short is a curator, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist and emerging filmmaker whose work involves memory, multi-faceted existence, Métis history and visual culture. 

Congratulations to all the artists.