In October, 2022, Isaruit held the first Inuit Creators’Conference at the Ottawa Art Gallery, a conference by Inuit Artists for Inuit Artists. The Conference started on September 30th, on the National Day of Reconciliation, with the Grand Opening of Isaruit’s new workshop and sewing areas in a former high school shop room at the Rideau Community Hub, 815 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, Ontario. We opened up this ‘maker space’ dedicated by Inuit artists to Inuit artists in the spirit of Reconciliation in order to restore the Inuit roots of all Inuit artists. Going forward into the next three days of meetings, Inuit artists from across the north spoke together and shared common issues and concerns, resources and stories. From these meetings, it became clear that an Artists Handbook would be useful to help Inuit creators across Inuit Nunanga and in ‘the south’, for example in Ottawa, to connect with and support each other, and to find tools to help us all develop as artists.
Thanks to Indigenous Language Program Funding from Heritage Canada, Isaruit was able to first and foremost write a summative report on the Isaruit Inuit Creators’ Conference (2022), and publish it, on our website and in hard copy. Secondly Isaruit pulled together a small group of presenters from the conference to write a series of articles that speak specifically to Inuit Artists and to outline some ideas to help Inuit artists going forward. This we are publishing now, as the first edition of what we hope will become an annual digital and downloadable publication for the use of all Inuit creators, no matter where they are living.
Isaruit would especially like to acknowledge the members of Isaruit Inuit Arts who put so much work into conceiving and writing the chapters of this handbook: Ruben Komaangapik, Aija Komangapik, Theresie Tungilik, and John Houston. A special thanks also goes out to John Albert and the team at Beat Studios for making this present print-ready version for our Website, at www.isaruit.ca.
We hope that you will find this Handbook interesting, informative and useful. We invite you to submit your comments and submissions for future editions of this “Isaruit Inuit Creators Handbook” to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Chair of the Board of Directors
Isaruit Inuit Arts: Pijunarnnivut