Rooted in the Land: Beadwork as an Expression of Sovereignty

Rooted in the Land: Beadwork as an Expression of Sovereignty

West Vancouver
1414 Argyle Ave
19 Oct
  • [PAST] October 19th, 2023
  • 7-9pm
  • 1414 Argyle Ave West Vancouver
  • Talk
  • More info

Presenter: Megan Smetzer

Contemporary Indigenous bead artists express powerful matrilineal legacies of beauty and resilience that are deeply rooted in ancient worldviews. This talk considers some of the ways in which these artists, working in diverse media, incorporate both subtle and overt references to historical beading practices that illustrated cultural continuity and ongoing connections to the land in the face of laws and institutions meant to regulate and assimilate.

Megan Smetzer (PhD, University of British Columbia, 2007) is an art historian who researches the circulation of Indigenous cultural belongings within and between Indigenous and settler communities along the Northwest Coast and beyond. She teaches, publishes, and lectures on historical and contemporary Indigenous cultural expressions, focusing primarily on work made by women. After earning degrees from Smith College, Williams College and the University of British Columbia, Smetzer held a Research Fellowship at the Canadian Museum of History. She taught at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design before joining the faculty at Capilano University.

Smetzer is deeply grateful to the Tlingit artists and elders from Lingít Aaní (currently known as Southeast Alaska) who have generously shared their knowledge and perspectives over many years. These relationships have contributed to her recent book Painful Beauty: Tlingit Women, Beadwork, and the Art of Resilience, the first to be written on this topic.

When: Thursday, October 19, 7–9 p.m.

Cost: $15

REGISTER ONLINE: or by phone at 604-925-7270 (course #149015).

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