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Christi Belcourt (apihtâwikosisâniskwêw / mânitow sâkahikanihk) is a visual artist, environmentalist, social justice advocate, and avid land-based based arts and language learner. She is most well known for her large painted floral landscapes of Metis beadwork.

Christi is a visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. Like generations of Metis artists before her, she celebrates the beauty of the natural world while exploring nature’s symbolic properties. Her paintings are found within many public and permanent collections across North America including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Gabriel Dumont Museum, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, the Minneapolis Institute of Art among others. She was named Aboriginal Arts Laureate for 2014 by the Ontario Arts Council. In 2016 she received both the Premiers Arts Award and a Governor General’s Award for Innovation. In 2023 she received two Honorary Doctorates; Visual Arts from Algoma University (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) and Doctor of Letters Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, ON).

She has co-organized several large national community-based projects of note including Walking With Our Sisters (2012-2021) which was a national touring commemoration in honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people, the Willisville Mountain Project (2010-2013) a community arts project which resulted in Vale Mining agreeing to not quarry the Willisville Mountain, various ongoing works with Onaman Collection and Nimkii Aazhibikong a year round land-based arts and language space in Northeastern Ontario.


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Artist Statement

When you look at Indigenous art traditions around the world, there are often a direct connections to the land implied in some way within the art. Its no different for Metis People who were historically known as “The Flower Beadwork People.” The understanding of how we’re supposed to live on the land is encoded into our beliefs which are sometimes found the designs and symbols present in our artwork.

When I’m creating my art, I’m not simply transferring beadwork patterns onto the canvas; there has to be meaning behind it. So I will include  certain plants or symbols into the painting that have a specific reason or coding behind them. It’s always primarily a message about the respect for lands and waters: the respect we need to have for the earth and everything that is around us. As human beings, we are mistaken if we think we are superior to other species.

My heart overflows with love for the beauty of this world.

I see war, but I paint flowers.

I paint what I want for this world. I try to reflect to the best of my ability the power and sacredness of Mother Earth which is the sacredness of all life as we know it.

May we live long enough to see humankind turn away from violence and greed and towards creating a world based on caring and giving. May we live long to see the world embrace global disarmament.

Prayers for the sick to be healed.
For the bombs to stop.
Freedom and dignity, care and enough for all.

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