Unceded Voices: Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence is a biennial convergence of primarily Indigenous-identified women/2spirit/Queer/[1] and women of color street artists in Tiohtià:ke, unceded Haudenosaunee territory (also known as Montreal). The three gatherings took place in the months of August 2014, 2015 and 2017. The goal of this convergence is three-fold: to develop a network of solidarity and support between Indigenous women/2Spirit/Queer and women of color street artists ; to promote anticolonial resistance through diverse street art interventions; and to foster relationships and dialogue between the collective and the broader community.

Through street art interventions (murals, wheat pastes, stencils, textile art, installations, performances, etc.), the artists in Unceded Voices collective are from all over Turtle Island and express their demands, identities and histories. We recognizes the importance of walls and structures as critical spaces to reclaim unceded Indigenous land and to aid Indigenous and WOC artists in their movement towards justice and healing for themselves and their cultures. In the space provided by Unceded Voices Collective, participants share knowledge and consider the territories we inhabit out of respect for the land we benefit from. Through nation to nation dialogue, Unceded Voices highlights and promotes the beauty in the different life stories and identities of the artists and collective members, yet it also reflects the power in the commonalities, the shared exploration of coming together, the healing of broken relationships, and the educating of future generations.

Indigenous women/2spirit/Queer and women of color are underrepresented in art milieu on Turtle Island, especially in street art, and often excluded from or feel unsafe in public spaces. For these reasons, Unceded Voices especially encourages young women to participate in the street art-making workshops and promotes their empowerment to take space in a white male-dominated milieu, with support and as a collective. Unceded Voices hosts workshops and panels on the themes of anti-colonialism, decolonization, cultural appropriation and other subjects related to Indigenous and women of color art making processes. The larger community is expressly invited to participate in the activities during the convergence and all events are free and open to the public.

Together, as Unceded Voices, we can take our place, and claim our stories and our life experiences, common or individual.

We envision a future wherein our model allows for Unceded Voices convergences to pop up and grow in cities, towns, and small communities from coast to coast.

[1] Unceded Voices uses the umbrella term ‘Indigenous’ to include status and non-status First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples of Canada including those who identify as Indigenous to land outside of and beyond the colonial borders of  ‘Canada’.