Hosted by the University of Regina’s Humanities Research Institute, this lecture is held every year around this time. Guest lecturer this year is First Nations artist, educator and curator Gerald McMaster.

Currently a professor in Indigenous Visual Culture & Curatorial Studies at OCAD University in Toronto, McMaster was born on the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan. While his academic pursuits have taken him outside the province for most of his career, McMaster was instrumental in establishing the first Bachelor of Art (Native Art) program at Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada) in Regina in the late 1970s.

You can read more about McMaster’s many accomplishments, which include senior curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and curating Canadian representation at the Venice and Sydney Biennales, on the university website.

The title of McMaster’s talk is “Not Afraid to Look the White Man in the Face”. Here’s a brief synposis:

Representations of American Indians by Europeans are a well-traveled, yet one-way, street. The practice of looking at one’s other – which is to say, Indians representing Europeans – is, on the other hand, an untraveled road. Why, we might ask? Perhaps it is the desire to escape drawing attention to oneself, or to avoid the challenging reverse gaze.

I will explore the artistic consequences of the cultural exchange between Native North Americans and Europeans over the past 1,000 years. I will present works from all regions of Canada and the northern United States, executed in numerous material forms, in order to explore the various visual strategies Indigenous artists use to represent this interface with their European other.

The 2015 Barbara Powell Lecture goes Thursday March 12 at RIC119 at 7 p.m. with a reception afterwards.