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Indigenous Visual Culture

Combining practice-specific and interdisciplinary studio-based learning, and courses in the visual, cultural, social and political history of Indigenous peoples.

Work by 2010 Photography Medal Winner Meryl McMaster

Indigenous Visual Culture

The Indigenous Visual Culture program at OCAD University combines practice-specific and interdisciplinary studio-based learning, and courses in the visual, cultural, social and political history of Indigenous peoples.

Our totem is Nigig the otter. We chose the otter because he dives down into the depths of unknown waters and emerges with a tool upon which to crack open the shell of his imagination. He is playful, dexterous, inventive, curious, filled with boundless energy and joy.

The program prepares students to engage in complex and evolving global discourses in Indigenous history, art history and contemporary art practice across a range of expressions, material and media. It can lead to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or an interdisciplinary minor.

The unique curriculum is designed to develop Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students’ critical and aesthetic responses and practical expertise in Indigenous culture and artistic practices. Art and design students are introduced to the fundamentals of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit art and design, located within Canadian and international contexts.

Students in the Indigenous Visual Culture program are creative, innovative and curious and possess an array of skills and interests. Most have story telling instincts and strong imaginations, expressed in a range of practices. Some have drawing and painting ability or dance experience, some are DJs or VJs with an interest in communication. Many have well-developed visual-spatial skills and are interested in screens, games or performance, digital media production or computer programming

For more information on the major and minor programs in Indigenous Visual Culture, go to the Fall/Winter Undergraduate Calendar.



OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand.

2015/2016 Program Overview

Course Code Course Title Credits
GART-1001 Drawing 1 0.5
GART-1004 Colour Exploration 0.5
GART-1005 Form and Structure 0.5
GART-1006 Time-Based Media 0.5
GART-1026 Indigenous Sculpture Strategies 0.5
INVC-1001 Indigenous Art: Materials & Methods 0.5
1000 1 GART elective course 0.5
VISC-1001 Global Visual & Material Culture: to 1800 0.5
VISC-1002 Global Visual & Material Culture: to Present 0.5
AND ONE OF
ENGL-1003 The Essay and the Argument 0.5
ENGL-1004 The Essay and the Argument: ESL 0.5
Course Code Course Title Credits
INVC-2001 Indigenous Peoples of the Americas 0.5
INTM-2002 Performance by Artists 0.5
SCIN-2002 Nature, Art & Transformation 0.5
ENGL-3013 Ways of Telling: Indigenous Literature and Narrative Tradition 0.5
VISA-2006 Canadian Art: The Modern Era 0.5
VISA-2012 Aboriginal Art History 0.5
2000 Electives: Art, Design, Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies Courses 2.0
Course Code Course Title Credits
DRPT-3012 Abstraction: Indigenous Views 0.5
GDES-3051 Think Tank 2: Consideration 0.5
HUMN-3012 A History of the Métis 0.5
INTM-3004 Media and Social Change 0.5
SCIN-3004 Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture 0.5
VISA-3015 Issues in 1st Nations Art 0.5
2000 or 3000 Electives: Art, Design, Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies Courses 2.0
Course Code Course Title Credits
INVC-4901 INVC Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis Part I 1.0
INVC-4902 INVC Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis Part II 1.0
SOSC-3009 Taronton, Onitariio, Kanata 0.5
VISA-3023 Indigenous Cultural Politics: Art and Activism 0.5
VISA-4014 Issues in Inuit Art 0.5
2000, 3000, or 4000 1 SCTM Course 0.5
2000, 3000, or 4000 Electives: Art, Design, Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies Courses 1.0