Fifty years ago, Canada celebrated its hundredth anniversary of Confederation. At Expo 67, in communities across the country, we celebrated our coming of age as a modern, bilingual, bicultural nation—a place where anyone from any culture could thrive.
But beneath the applause and the cheerful music was a darker note. In his public address at the festivities, Chief Dan George lamented what Canada’s centennial did not celebrate: the colonization and marginalization of Indigenous peoples who lived on these “good lands.” Now in the year of Canada’s 150th birthday, we honour a new understanding of our past. We have begun—at long last—to share in a process of national reconciliation and to come together to reimagine our contribution to a global future.
Artists give form and meaning to both the land and the invisible landscape of the spirit, both the past and the future. The works of Canada’s artists—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, historical and contemporary—invite us to see our country and our place within it with new eyes. This book celebrates their visions, as well as the good lands we have shared and shaped for millennia that, in turn, have shaped us.