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The Winnipeg Art Gallery has entered a partnership that will ensure Indigenous art from across the world will be featured there for years to come. 

The WAG announced the launch of the Winnipeg Indigenous Biennial today, which will include commissions, artist residencies and education and outreach programs that focus on Indigenous art. 

The first biennial, which will launch in 2020 to coincide with the opening of the Inuit Art Centre, will feature art from Canada, New Zealand and Australia. 

Co-curator Dr. Julie Nagam says it will be interesting for art from those cultures to share a space and highlight the similarities and differences between their experiences. 

"There are lots of things we share and there are also things that separate us and make us distinctive," Nagam said. "I think what will be interesting about bringing in Australia, the Pacific and the U.S. is you'll see a lot of crossover and a lot of narratives that are very similar." 

"Although these things happen at different moments of time and affect different cultures differently, I think it's important for us to sort of see this larger global conversation that's happening." 

The first biennial will be entitled To Draw Water, and will focus on themes surrounding sustainability, climate change and the environment.

"What I think is going to be really brilliant is there will be parallels of our ongoing politics and culture but there will be complex narratives as well," co-curator Jamie Isaac said. "It's also about resiliency and I think all those nations coming together will be celebrating that." 

Nagam also serves as the chair of the History of Indigenous Art in North American for the University of Winnipeg and the WAG. Isaac is the WAG's curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art. 

The WAG says the Winnipeg Indigenous Biennial is building off of INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE, which was also curated by Nagam and Isaac

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