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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

No Word for Art with Naomi Smith


Craft Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation
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Guelph Civic Museum

52 Norfolk St

Guelph, ON



Offered in English.

Wheelchair accessible and has gender-neutral washrooms.


Participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous artist and educator Naomi Smith.

In an exploration of Indigenous creative processes and teachings, Naomi Smith will lead participants on a historical journey through historical and contemporary beadworks. Participants will create their own beaded hair-pipe as part of the experience.

This free event is for participants age 12 and up and is presented in two sessions (each 90 minutes): 10-11:30 AM and 1-2:30 PM.

About Naomi Smith:

Naomi Smith is an Indigenous Artist and Educator from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation in Neyaashiinimiing. For over 25 years, she has focused on sharing teachings about the Indigenous people of the Woodlands and Northeastern region from historical and contemporary perspectives, often through the story of beads. Her work embraces ancestral designs in the form of bags, adornment, and traditional accessories.

Naomi's art has been exhibited across Canada and internationally, including at the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) in Washington DC and New York, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives, Art Gallery of Guelph, and Guelph Museums. Her work is in the permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, Art Gallery of Guelph, Schneider Haus, and private collections throughout the world.

While many of her lectures and presentations are art themed, Naomi also talks about the historic challenges facing Indigenous peoples and how this narrative has affected her life journey. Naomi provides insight into her Indigenous world, which is a unique blend of traditional teachings and colonial experiences.

Artist Statement:

“Honouring our traditions is my voice within and beyond my Culture and Community. Traditionally there is no word for “art” in Native languages yet artistry and visual expression are critical in defining who we are as First Nations people. It is this path I wish to exemplify through my teachings and my work."



City of Guelph Museums & Culture

Guelph Museums and Culture exists to:

* Collect and protect artifacts, artworks and stories that reflect our community

* Share the collections and stories − locally, nationally and internationally − through exhibition, interpretation, and online access

* Provide inclusive, accessible, interactive, and enlightening experiences

* Nurture interest and engagement in history, art and culture

* Cultivate a connection to place, with focus on the tangible and intangible cultural landscape unique to Guelph

Guelph Museums and Culture is pleased to commission this activation for Culture Days in support of our local artists and in service of our local community and beyond.

In Guelph we’re grounded in community and our deep connection to the environment. We look out for one another, celebrate our diversity and smile at each other in the streets. We are leaders who shape tomorrow. We tackle local and global challenges through innovation, art and action. And we’re committed to inclusive prosperity – because together, we’re stronger.

This event is part of a hub:

That's So Guelph!

City of Guelph Guelph, ON

Where art meets heritage meets a passion for the natural environment, That's So Guelph! Our creative community embodies values that define Guelph - curiosity, compassion, innovation, collaboration, diversity, environmentalism, and activism....