Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Arts


Art History


Cody Barteet


Sanaugavut: Art from Kinngait” explores 20th century Inuit art from an Inuk’s perspective to highlight the work Inuit participants contributed to in the development of commercialized art production in the North. The author Nakasuk Alariaq is from Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and is the first Inuk graduate student at Western University to be offered space within the university’s formal settings to curate an Inuit art exhibition. This exhibition and thesis go hand in hand and are therefore very important to advocates of Indigenous self-representation in academia and in galleries. The exhibition “Sanaugavut: Art from Kinngait” was on display at McIntosh Gallery at Western University from May 3, 2019 to June 16, 2019 and was the first time the Gallery’s Inuit art collection was showcased to the public alongside loaned artworks from a local Kinngait art gallery. This paper utilizes academic references, Inuit oral histories and draws on Nakasuk’s own personal memories in order to provide a unique account of Inuit history and to exhibit Inuit art to the public in a public gallery.

Summary for Lay Audience

Sanaugavut: Art from Kinngait was curated by Inuk-Finnish graduate student Nakasuk Alariaq who is studying at Western Universtiy. This is the first Inuit art exhibition to open at Western University's McIntosh Gallery. The curated show and thesis go hand-in-hand; the thesis acts like a catalog for the show and includes photographs, detailed historical information and Nakasuk's own experience and memory of growing up in Kinngait (also known as Cape Dorset and Sikusiilaq). It describes Nakasuk's experience writing the paper, curating the exhibition and her own experience as an Indigenous university student in Southwestern Ontario.