Alex Janvier (1935 - ) Morning Star, 1993

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Canadian Museum of History

Alex Janvier is a Dene Suline artist. In the early 1970s, he became a member of the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation. Others in the group included Daphne Odjig and Norval Morrisseau. A critic in Winnipeg gave the painters another name—the Indian Group of Seven, to reflect the group’s importance to the history of Canadian art. Janvier painted Morning Star (or Gambeh Then’ in Cree) on a dome at the Canadian Museum of History with the assistance of his son Dean. Work on the painting began in June 1993 and finished four months later. Morning Star is a commentary on the interaction of cultures that took place after Europeans arrived in North America and encountered Native peoples. Just as the title Morning Star refers to a star that serves as a means of finding direction, Janvier sees his painting as providing guidance to our understanding of Native/non-Native concerns.

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Canadian Museum of History

The Canadian Museum of History welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year to its celebrated complex in the heart of the National Capital Region, making it the country’s most-visited museum. With roots stretching back to 1856, it is one of Canada’s oldest public institutions and a respected centre of museological excellence, sharing its expertise in history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies both within Canada and abroad.