Native Immigrant (NI) is a community arts approach to bridging Native peoples and Immigrants through a variety of cultural events.

Hope, 2012

HISTORY

Native Immigrant is a community-based, nonprofit art collective whose mission is to build bridges between immigrants and First Nations and to inspire love for this unceded land, Tiohtià tsi ionhwéntsare. The predominant multidisciplinary and multicultural practices that form the basis of our gatherings include art-making, story-telling, discussion, beadwork and soon, we hope, print-making.

The first Native-Immigrant event, in the winter of 2013, was taking shape just as a new chapter in Quebec politics was unfolding: the Charter of Values, when Carolina Echeverría reworked this colonial notion (of forcing immigrants and First Nations to adhere to European norms) into that of the re-rooted immigrant, the one who is mindful of this land, who wants to connect to it.

Now, in 2019, and after 6 events thus completed, the Native Immigrant collective has developed into a diverse group of individuals, residing in both North and South America, who believe that culture is alive and organic and co-created thru the meeting of diverse cultures.

One of our main activities in art-making is the construction of dress assemblages. Each dress is a collection of objects that tell the stories of the hundreds of individuals who have generously contributed to and taken part in our events.

Native-Immigrant is housed permanently at Métèque Gallery in NDG, Montreal, since March 30th, 2017 (5442 Côte Saint Luc Road).

We invite you to call yourself a Native-Immigrant, or to join the next Native-Immigrant project, offering everyone the time and space to create, reflect and to bridge Last Nations (as in those who just arrive) with First Nations. Together, we can learn, simply and profoundly, how to make a difference, how to change the conversation—how to truly love the land that sustains us.


Photo: Philip Faith

ABOUT CAROLINA (Artistic director and founder of Native-Immigrant)

I am an immigrant to Quebec, a place that has yet to embrace the profound gifts of either First Nations or immigrants (“les ethniques” as we’ve been called). From the start, I wanted to take part in the collective conversation. I wanted to talk about climate change and environmental concerns—things that the government does not show signs of wanting to discuss. Then I heard about Neskantaga: in the heart of the world's largest intact boreal wetland, this tiny First Nation community was fighting to protect their lands, their water and their way of life against mining projects such as the Ring of Fire. People were suiciding at such a high rate, a state of emergency had been declared. What could I do in the face of such heartbreaking news? This land is so vast, and we are so disconnected…. What I did was I mailed a hundred postcards saying that someone in Montreal cared, I cared, and I asked them to please not give up their struggle, please keep on protecting the water and their sacred land where their ancestors were buried. Months later I got postcards from school children saying “thank you.” I knew then that connecting was as simple as reaching out and speaking up, with heart. 


Legal notice :

The Native Immigrant project is protected by copyright and any use of the images found on this website or on the Native Immigrant Facebook page require written permission by Carolina Echeverria.

We nevertheless encourage artists to develop projects and works that share a common theme with ours. To this end, the concept of Native Immigrant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This license allows you to use the concept of Native Immigrant and the name, as long as Carolina Echevarria is credited as the author of the project, the concept is not used for commercial purposes, and that any derived work is distributed under the same license.

Should you wish to collaborate with Native Immigrant or use the project in a manner not covered by the license, please contact us.