Home on Native Land presents new media work by artists and filmmakers that address the concept of home – a theme that is also central in First Peoples cinema. The loss of home and all of its contents, from land and language to tradition and family defines the First Peoples experience from the Americas to Australia and New Zealand. First Peoples storytellers return to this theme again and again. Tradition remains as a connection to what was lost and new forms reconcile the history of the shared home we now all inhabit. Housing crises remain common among First Peoples communities worldwide, and the home remains under siege by the legacy of history. It is this history that the works in this show confront most directly, asking us to witness, understand and reconcile.

-Jesse Wente

Curated by Jesse Wente (Ojibwe) and Steven Loft (Mohawk)


Rebecca Belmore – Anishinaabe (Canada)
Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël & Zacharias Kunuk (Inuit) (Canada)
James Luna – Pooyukitchum/Luiseño (USA)
Alan Michelson – Mohawk (USA)
Kent Monkman – Cree (Canada)
Nadia Myre – Kitigan Anishinabeg Nation (Canada)
Lisa Reihana – Ma¯ori (New Zealand)
Warwick Thornton – Kaytetye (Australia)

James Luna
Back by Popular Demand, 2012

Site-specific performance presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox, takes place in the lobby on Saturday, June 23 at 5:15pm

Back by Popular Demand explores the cultural misrepresentation of First Peoples in pop culture, pointedly asking why Indians are not considered part of "the mainstream" and addressing what it means to be "Indian" in a contemporary North American society that trivializes Indigenous peoples as romantic stereotypes. In this fast-paced performance, artist James Luna adopts the personae of famous heroes and protagonists from throughout cinematic history—those "objects" of filmic desire and media power that are so often "white", never "Indian"–and Indigenizes them.

The vignettes are in the "classic Luna style", mixing irony, biting humour and social significance. As in all of Luna's work, with Back by Popular Demand Luna confronts audiences with questions about the nature of cultural identity, the tensions of race "privilege", and their own misconceived notions of what it is to be "Indian".


Photograph of James Luna, courtesy of the artist


Gallery Hours
June 21 – August 19

Tuesday - Saturday 12:00pm – 8:00pm

12:00pm – 6:00pm