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Indigenous youth at Six Nations of the Grand River are hard at work creating personally-meaningful pieces to share their stories, experiences, concerns, solutions and teachings with water managers and the Canadian public. 


The purpose of this part of the study is to collect information about what matters most, how young Indigenous persons interact with the water system (e.g., swimming, drinking, business, culture), what challenges they see, and ideas for solutions to those challenges.  Their pieces will be displayed at a traveling arts exhibition from March to June 2020.

The goal of this event series is two-fold: first, feature young people's creative works in a publicly-accessible way (the traveling arts exhibit); and second, to capture their relationships with the water (especially the Grand River or Lake Erie).  


Artistic media include painting (on various surfaces), drawing, clay sculpting and photography.  The stories being shared range from personal experiences - e.g., lack of access to safe drinking water on reserve - to storytelling teachings that have been passed down through generations.

The exhibit project is a co-created collaboration between Elaine and Richelle Miller, Coordinator of Music for the Spirit & Indigenous Arts (with early inspiration from artist Paul General), who met at a workshop through Great Art for Great Lakes.  This collaboration is a unique opportunity to engage youth in traditional activities while offering water managers a rare glimpse into the values and concerns of some members of the Six Nations community.


There are two parts to this project: first, the artistic creations (accompanied by brief write-ups) will be displayed; second, the entire exhibit will be photographed and compiled into a self-guided tour (on this website as well as a downloadable/printable PDF) that will incorporate much more detailed information than the ~250 word descriptions for each piece viewed in-person.

EXHIBIT SCHEDULE (click to visit the events calendar)

(subject to change)

Cayuga: The Carolinian Cafe (5 Cayuga St.) March 2-14 (free parking, free access)

Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for the Arts (60 Dickson Street), March 23-April 3 (free 2-hour parking at City Hall, free access)

  • Opening reception: March 24, details TBD

Kitchener: THEMUSEUM (10 King St W.) April 27-May 25 (paid parking, paid access)


Brantford/Oshweken: TBD; 1-2 locations in July.

This research is part of the nationwide Global Water Futures research initiative at University of Waterloo (Lake Futures group).  Global Water Futures is funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in partnership with participating institutions.  The research is also supported by the University of Waterloo.
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