Fifth World

April 3 to June 7, 2015

Curator’s Talk/Tour with Wanda Nanibush: Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m.
Reception for Spring Exhibitions: Thursday, May 28 at 8 p.m. Joseph and Violet Naytowhow will perform a welcoming song.

Curated by Wanda Nanibush to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Tribe Inc.

The Fifth World marks out a new consciousness within humanity, where we begin to relearn our responsibilities after being humbled by disasters of our own creation. “The world that the capitalists envision is the one-world economy, that is their fifth world. But the fifth world is a new consciousness in the hearts of all human beings, the idea that the earth is shared and finite, and that we are naturally connected to the earth and with one another.” Thus writes Laguna Pueblo writer Leslie Marmon Silko about her concept of the Fifth World. Introduced in her novel, Almanac of the Dead, this concept inspired the exhibition’s title. The Fifth World also refers to the Hopi prophecy of an impending choice between destruction and conflict, or thinking with our hearts in harmony with nature. Since contact, we have been making the choice.

Last year, we danced in the Idle No More movement, where we recommitted to fulfilling our responsibilities to the earth and water. Every movement, protest, blockade, walk, song and dance is in defence of the defenceless and the necessary. Every assertion of Indigenous sovereignty on the land is a dreaming. As Turtle Island becomes a site of massive resource extraction and the world economy tips the balance of the earth towards global warming, Indigenous Peoples and their inherent rights to the land are where capitalism will have its last stand. This dreaming is based on a deep and profound knowledge of what is needed to sustain human life on earth and democratic governance. It is a profound critique of Western colonial thought, which subjugates the body to the mind, the woman to the man, all humans to the white man, the animal to the human, the individual will to the government, truth to the lie, peace to war, water to the tailing pond, creativity to the clock, the earth to the economy. This new consciousness is rising everywhere and we can feel it in the smallest action and the largest round dance. Art is not separate from these struggles. Indigenous artists are central to the great imagining of the choice we face and the vision of a new world.

— Wanda Nanibush

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator, community animator/organizer, and arts consultant from Beausoleil First Nation. She was the 2013 Dame Nita Barrow Distinguished Visitor at University of Toronto. Last year, as Curator in Residence at U of T’s Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Nanibush organized the exhibition KWE: The work of Rebecca Belmore. She now works with the Art Gallery of Ontario while undertaking her PhD.


Panel Discussions: Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30
at Le Relais Community Centre, 201 – 440 2nd Avenue North.

On Friday May 29th, TRIBE’s keynote speaker will be Daina Warren. Debra Piapot will moderate a panel on the future of Aboriginal arts organizations, titled Where we were / where we are / where are we going to be? James Luna will moderate the afternoon panel, Contemporary Aboriginal Artists within Contemporary Spaces.

Saturday, May 30th will feature two afternoon panels. Rebecca Belmore will moderate Contemporary Aboriginal Performance: Acts and Interventions, and Shelley Niro will moderate Aboriginal Voices in New Media. The final event will be a performance by Robin Brass at 8 PM in the AKA artist-run / PAVED Arts event space at 424 20th Street West.

TRIBE is also pleased to present the work of three artists in collaboration with AKA artist-run and PAVED Arts: Dana Claxton: Revisited, Bear Witness’ The Ultimate Warriors, and Edward Poitras’ billboard project Don’t Speak.