Engaging children with artists who look like them, have similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds is a great source of inspiration and empowerment. By reflecting their own identities, experiences and motivations (mirrors) and also providing insight into the identities, experiences and motivations of others (windows) can move students toward more nuanced perceptions of the world around them (sliding glass doors).* Discover new BIPOC artists to add to your curriculum.
*Source: By Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University. "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors"
Artists have many layered identities and art educators need to present them as such.
Representing diverse artists in your curriculum is only part of an Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist curriculum. It needs to be more than a symbolic effort and art educators need to take into account intersectionality when introducing these artists to students. How do aspects of an artists’ social and political identities (ex. gender, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, ability, physical appearance, etc.) intersect within their work?
In addition, we recognize that race is socially constructed and it is impossible to put humans in clearly defined categories by race. Racial identity is deeply personal, and artists within any given subgroup define themselves differently. Race, ethnicity, and nationality are all factors artist's individually consider as their personal identity. However, as mentioned previously that is not all that there is to their identity. We know that artists have many layered identities and art educators need to do the research to present them as such. These groupings are not perfect, as humans are not meant to be divided into boxes. We hope this resource can help art educators identify who is missing from their curriculum in order to create a curriculum more representative of the incredible diversity among students and artists today.
Aboriginal Peoples: The collective noun used in the Constitution Act 1982 and includes the Indian (or First Nations), Inuit and Metis Peoples so legally it will always have a place at the terminology table.
First Nation(s): First Nation is a term used to identify Indigenous peoples of Canada who are neither Métis nor Inuit.
Indigenous: ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently.
Inuit: Indigenous people in northern Canada, living mainly in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, northern Quebec and Labrador. Ontario has a very small Inuit population.
Métis Peoples: people of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry. The Métis National Council adopted the following definition of “Métis” in 2002: “Métis” means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.
Native: An outdated collective term referring to Indians (Status, Non-status, Treaty), Métis, and Inuit but has largely been replaced by Indigenous. While some First Nations individuals refer to themselves as “Native” that doesn’t give non-Indigenous people license to do so.
Terminology defined by Indigenous Peoples terminology guidelines for usage