ohpinamake 2022

June 21, 2022 - June 21, 2022

The inaugural recipient of ohpinamake.


It is our pleasure to announce the inaugural recipient of ohpinamake.

ohpinamake is an award for Indigenous artists whose territories intersect with the current colonial borders of Canada.

The name, ohpinamake, was brought forward by
 Elders and authors Louise Bernice Halfe and Maria Campbell,
 alongside artist and educator, Ruth Cuthand.

ohpinamake means “to lift others” in nêhiyawêwin.

The award is made possible through the partnership of Jim Knock (BE ‘76) and Marian Knock with the University of Saskatchewan. The partnership was established with the express purpose of creating an award that acknowledges the unique capacity of art to bridge differences, but also to make things different.

The artist chosen must clearly engage in a practice that ‘lifts others’. This can be understood as active social practice or as the production of art works that elevate Indigenous world-sense and create community. It can also be modeling behaviour that supports others in truly relational ways.

This year’s recipient was chosen by a jury of exceptional cultural workers and community members:
Camille Georgeson-Usher
Tarah Hogue
France Trepannier

Throughout this process we have endeavoured to remove the systemic barriers that keep Indigenous artists and others from accessing opportunities like this. We will continue to develop both the processes of application, adjudication, and the possible outcomes of ohpinamake over these next five years.

In this spirit of openness, clarity of intention, and to further mark this inaugural year, the jury has made a series of special mentions of 6 additional applicants.

This decision was further supported by Jim and Marian Knock ensuring that each of these artists will receive a $1000.00 cash prize as well as have their work included in an exhibition on the University of Saskatchewan Campus, in lower Place Riel.

This event is made possible through the support of 
the Office of the Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement,
 Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre, and the Mistatimōk Committee.


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KC Adams is a Winnipeg-based artist who graduated from Concordia University with a B.F.A in studio arts. Adams has had several solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and been in three biennales including the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. Adams participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Parramatta Arts Gallery in Australia. Her work is in many permanent collections Nationally and Internationally. Twenty pieces from the Cyborg Hybrid series are in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa and four trees from Birch Bark Ltd, are in the collection of the Canadian Consulate of Australia, NSW. She was the scenic designer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. She helped design a 30-foot public art sculpture called Niimamaa for the Winnipeg Forks and a piece for the United Way of Winnipeg called Community. Adams was awarded the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Mark Award and Canada's Senate 150 medal recipient for her accomplishments with her Perception Photo Series. KC is now an author with her book Perception: A Photo Series that Quill & Quire. chose as one of 2019 Books of the Year.


Camille Georgeson-Usher is a Coast Salish / Sahtu Dene / Scottish scholar, artist, and writer from Galiano Island, British Columbia. Usher completed her MA in Art History at Concordia University and is currently a PhD candidate at Queen’s University in Cultural Studies. In addition to her academic work, she is the Executive Director of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective/ Collectif des commissaires autochtones and has worked as an arts programmer in a variety of arts institutions in both Quebec and Ontario. She is a practicing artist with special interest in art in public spaces and is an independent curator; sits on the Boards of Artspace in Peterborough, Toronto Biennial of Art, and the Galiano Literary Festival; and is on the Indigenous Education Council at Ontario College of Art & Design University, (OCADU).


Tarah Hogue is Curator (Indigenous Art) at Remai Modern. A citizen of the Métis Nation with settler ancestry, Hogue was raised on the border between Treaty 6 and 7 territories in Red Deer, Alberta. Her recent exhibitions include Adrian Stimson: Maanipokaa’iini (2022), An apology, a pill, a ritual, a resistance (2021), co-curated with Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, and lineages and land bases (2020) at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2019, Hogue received the Hnatyshyn Foundation – TD Bank Group Award for Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art. She has authored catalogue essays for artists such as Maureen Gruben, Tania Willard, Henry Tsang and Jin-me Yoon, and her writing has been published in C Magazine, Canadian Art, The Capilano Review and elsewhere. Hogue is co-chair of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective’s board of directors and is a co-founder of Shushkitew Collective.
NB Photo Credit: Rachel Topham


France Trepanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher. Her practice is often informed by strategies of collaboration and community engagement. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in many venues in Canada, the US and Europe. She was the co-recipient of the Inaugural Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. She co-authored with Chris Creighton-Kelly Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today: a Knowledge and Literature Review for the Canada Council for the Arts. France is co-director of the Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires initiative. She worked at the Canada Council for the Arts before becoming a Senior Arts Policy Advisor for the Department of Canadian Heritage. She held a diplomatic post as First Secretary, Cultural Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Paris. She directed the Centre for New Media at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. France was also the co-founder and Director of the artist-run center Axe Néo-7 in Gatineau, Quebec. France is of Kanien’kehà:ka and French ancestry.


Holly Aubichon identifies as Métis and Cree on her paternal side and Ukrainian, Irish and Scottish on her maternal side (Ogrodnick). Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, her Indigenous relations come from Green/Meadow Lake region, SK and Lestock, SK. Aubichon’s practice is laboriously reliant on retracing familial memories and connections. She uses painting and traditional tattooing as a way to foster personal and collective healing. She graduated from the University of Regina in the Spring of 2021 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, minoring in Indigenous Art History. Aubichon is the 2021 BMO 1st Art! Regional winner for Saskatchewan. Aubichon is the Administrative Director at Sâkêwêwak First Nations Artist's Collective Inc.

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Brody Burns is a student in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the University of Saskatchewan. Brody is a member of James Smith Cree Nation located on Treaty 6 territory. Art has been prevalent his whole life but became his focus during his time here at the University where he first earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology in 2021. Brody’s artistic practice involves augmented reality, pastel, watercolour, acrylic, and oil paint. Brody explores what energy might look like through abstract shapes, designs and vivid colours.


Darren Gowan is Plains Cree and member of the Day Star First Nation and found his true calling as an artist. Darren began carving in 1992 with antlers, bones, horns, and hooves of Deer, Moose, and Elk, and carved his first full Moose Antler in 1993. In 1997 he began working with stone. His work is based on a blending of the balance of the Natural World with the dynamics of relationships within it. "The relationship between all of humanity, the natural and spiritual elements, and the entirety of creation are the inspiration of the works that balance my idea for the sculpture with what the material will allow – to unleash that balance between the forces."


Laura Grier is a Délı̨nę First Nations artist and printmaker, born in Somba ké (Yellowknife), and based out of Alberta. Through the use of traditional print mediums, they instrumentalize the power of the handmade to reflect political sociology, culture, environmentalism, and Indigeneity. Responding to lived experiences of being an urban displaced Dene woman through Print, Laura’s work is also inspired by the dynamism of Indigenous art practices and uses printmaking as a tool for resistance, refusal, and inherent Bets’ı̨nę́. They hold a BFA from NSCADU (K'jipuktuk) and an MFA from OCAD University (Tkaronto). They most recently exhibited at Harcourt House, DC3 Art Projects, SNAP Gallery, and ArtsPlace in Alberta. Laura received grants and awards for their work, including an Indigenous project grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Toronto Arts Council.

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Audie Murray is a relative, dreamer, skin-stitcher and Michif visual artist based in Oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, Saskatchewan; Treaty 4 territory). Her practice is informed by the process of making and visiting to explore themes of contemporary culture, embodied experiences and lived dualities. These modes of working assist with the recentering of our collective connection to the body, ancestral knowledge systems, space and time. She has exhibited widely, including at the Independent Art Fair, NYC; The Vancouver Art Gallery; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; and the Anchorage Museum. Murray is represented by Fazakas Gallery on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory (Vancouver, B.C.).

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Taryn Walker is a queer, interdisciplinary Indigenous artist of Nlka'pamux, Syilx, and mixed European ancestry whose work explores concepts of identity, tenderness, healing, cycles of life and death, and the supernatural through drawing, printmaking, installation, and video. In 2018 Walker graduated from the Visual Arts BFA program at UVic. In the fall of this year, they will be beginning their MFA at SFU. Walker’s work has been presented in spaces and events across Western Canada and beyond. Their artistic research has also been granted support from the Edmonton Arts Council, the Indigenous Curatorial Collective, and the First Peoples Cultural Council.