Igloliorte also likes science fiction literature and film, although her engagement with Indigenous futures came about after she realized that the Inuit were not taking on leadership roles in the art world. She is interested in both the distant and immediate futures for Inuit.
“Inuit art contributes $87.5 million to the Canadian economy annually, and still there are very few Inuit curators; there are no permanent museum staff, and few Inuit are even working with our collections,” Igloliorte says. “Here we have this vast artistic production by numerous artists — the highest percentage of artists per capita in the country — and yet there aren’t nearly enough Inuit leading that movement or writing our art history.”
Her involvement in the Indigenous Futures research cluster aligns with the group’s seven-generation principle, yet she also wants to keep an eye on the next decade to ensure the Inuit take charge of their artistic futures. “This is a very strange phenomenon to have in Canada,” she says. “What is the future of Inuit art if it’s not led by Inuit?”
For Benesiinaabandan, his interest in Indigenous futures started with the elders’ stories he heard as a child. “Even though I like science fiction, I’m not particularly driven by that,” he says. “When we talk to our elders, there’s always a consideration of the future. We are always talking about the future in one way or another.”
The Indigenous Futures research cluster is currently looking for students interested in doing archival work as well as postdoctoral fellows. Students are asked to contact Jason Edward Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.