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The Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art: An Indigenous-led Digital Strategy

Gerald McMaster, Michael Frederick Rattray, Natalja Chestopalova, Brittany Pitseolak Bergin, Mariah Meawasige, Maya Filipp, Yiyi Shao, Brendan Griebel

2022 Canada

Over the past decade, a multitude of digital platforms engaging with Indigenous collections of ancestral belongings have been developed for the public in an effort to reconsider and reconceptualize notions of access and Indigenous ownership in virtual space. An initiative in partnership with the Onsite Gallery, the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art (VPIA) is a newly developed resource that originates from Dr. Gerald McMaster’s Entangled Gaze Project at the Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge, OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. VPIA is a strategic digital platform that brings together a specific dataset of Indigenous artworks and cultural belongings that portray European and Asian newcomers to Turtle Island, drawn from global museum collections. The platform’s innovative approach to collections is grounded in a dual record format, where visitors are invited to create a Community-Member profile and contribute knowledge and information to artwork pages that consist of a permanent institutional record and an evolving community-generated VPIA record. The VPIA is intended to bridge communities and institutions to facilitate digital contributions of novel ideas about the Turtle Island contact zone and the implications of the colonial period, from early contact through to the twentieth century.

Indigenous communities, research and topics, collections, knowledge exchange, digital collections, digitization, records, collections, Indigenous art