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Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island: Engaging With Contemporary Native American Art

Opening October 2019

Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island: Engaging with Contemporary Native American Art will be on view at the KHC from August 27, 2019, through May 21, 2020. The exhibit is curated by Danyelle Means (Oglala Lakota) and QCC Art & Design faculty member, Kat Griefen, in collaboration with students and alumni from the QCC Gallery and Museum Studies Program and the KHC Fellowship Program.

The exhibition addresses the histories and present-day realities of the first people of this continent through contemporary art. Turtle Island is the name given to North America by the Anishinabek, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and the Lenape—some of the Indigenous people of this region. The sixteen works on display address survivance: a term that emphasizes both cultural survival and resistance in the face of hundreds of years of genocide and mass atrocities. Survivance and Sovereignty on Turtle Island has found its home at the KHC because it is only through studying the Holocaust that we develop the vocabulary to examine and acknowledge other genocides and the contemporary responses to them. By using art to communicate the impact that genocide has upon Indigenous people on Turtle Island, we can understand that these egregious crimes of attempted erasure are not outliers but part of a continuum.

To schedule a guided tour of the exhibit for your class or group, please contact for more information.


Gina Adams (Ojibwa Lakota descent)

Nadema Agard (Cherokee/Lakota/Powhatan)

Pena Bonita (Apache)

Dennis RedMoon Darkeem (Wind Clan/Creek Seminole)

Judy Dow (Abenaki)

Ryan Elizabeth Feddersen (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation {Okanagan/Arrow Lakes})

Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut)

Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee)

Merritt Johnson (Kanienkehaka {Mohawk}, Blackfoot, Irish and Swedish descent)

Erica Lord (Athabascan, Iñupiaq, Finnish, Swedish, English, and Japanese)

Jason Lujan

Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, and Lakota)

Mario Martinez (Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona)

Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree member of the Siksika Nation, British and Dutch)

Kent Monkman (Cree)

Renelle White Buffalo (Lakota-Sioux)

Featured image credit: Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee). Prayers for the Land, 2015 Arches watercolor paper printed with archival inks and acrylic paint, 6” x 5.5” x 7.5”