Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the shortlisted nominees and winner of the 9th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award: 

The Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award recognizes outstanding emerging Indigenous (Status and Non-Status First Nations, Métis, Inuit) artists from Northern Ontario who are women or otherwise gender marginalized (transfeminine, transmasculine, non-binary, gender non-conforming, Two Spirit). NWIA recognizes the specific barriers that many Northern artists face, and we aim to support Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario by creating connections, professional development, and performance opportunities through our programming initiatives. 

Each of the five shortlisted nominees will be acknowledged with a $1,500 award and the winner will receive a prize of $5,000. The winner and their work will also be featured on our website.

The shortlisted nominees for the 9th Annual Barbara Laronde Award are Lucia LafordAmber WabooseSara KanutskiLeslie Neshkiwe, and Acadia Solomon.

The Winner of the 9th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Awards is Mishiikenh Kwe Autumn Smith.

Mishiikenh Kwe

Mishiikenh Kwe (Turtle woman, Autumn Smith) is an Anishinaabe woodland artist from the caribou clan, and a member of Magnetawan First Nation. Her research based practice revolves mainly around using art as a way to remember what she has learned and to help teach others. Autumn’s main inspirations are stories passed on from her grandmother and moments taken directly from her own lived experience as an Anishinaabe Kwe.

Saabe Dream c.2023

Mishiikenh Kwe was selected from a number of nominees from across Northern Ontario. NWIA’s Artistic Director, Quach George remarked: “ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are thrilled to present this award to Mishiikenh Kwe and to recognize her commitment to the development of her artistic practice. We are confident that Mishiikenh Kwe has a great future ahead of her and wish her, the shortlisted candidates, as well as all of the nominees the very best in their endeavors. NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Mishiikenh Kwe with a $5,000 cash prize and to acknowledge each of our shortlisted nominees: Lucia Laford, Amber Waboose, Sara Kanutski, Leslie Neshkiwe, and Acadia Solomon with a $1,500 prize. A huge congratulations to all!”

Mishibizhiw and the Canoers c.2022

About the Barbara Laronde Award

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous Gender Marginalized artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face. Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award.

Rest c.2022

About Native Women in the Arts (NWIA)

Established in 1993, Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Women and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized Folks from diverse artistic disciples who share a common interest in culture, art, community, and the advancement of Indigenous Peoples. NWIA Presents unique artistic programming while developing, supporting, and cultivating practices in the performing arts, literary arts and publishing, visual arts, customary arts, and community development projects. NWIA’s influence has been felt in communities across Canada. We nourish and transform our communities by pursuing the highest standards of artistic excellence, and by offering development opportunities to emerging artists. 

You Might Also Like