Mr. President, it is my honour to present to you Ms. Lee-Ann Martin, a revolutionary figure in the study and influence of Indigenous art.
For more than three decades, Ms. Martin has curated, written and lectured extensively on contemporary Indigenous art both nationally and internationally. Her contribution to visual art and curatorial practice in Canada cannot be overstated.
Ms. Martin has helped carve institutional space for the Indigenous Art community.
A report she produced in 1990 led the Canada Council for the Arts to develop an acquisition program for works by contemporary Indigenous artists, which helped correct their longstanding systemic exclusion from public collections.
While working at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the early 1990s, she co-curated the seminal exhibition INDIGENA: Perspectives of Indigenous Peoples on Five Hundred Years, a critical response to the five-century anniversary of European colonization. The show was the first Indigenous-curated exhibition organized by a national institution in Canada, and it toured internationally.
Many more exceptional curatorial projects at museums right across the country followed. The respect Martin receives from curators and artists alike is a testament to her professional leadership, the trust she places in artists, and the great care she has put into cultivating good collegial and institutional relationships throughout her career. These are just some of the reasons she received a Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts in 2019.
As Concordia undertakes its decolonization process to redress historical inequities, we could look to no greater model than Ms. Martin.
Mr. President, on behalf of the Board of Governors and Senate, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Ms. Lee-Ann Martin, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.