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Hannah Claus
courtesy of the artist

Lieu d’exposition
/ Exhibition place

Centre Eaton Niveau Métro / Underground, œuvre / artwork n°3


Hannah Claus is a transdisciplinary artist of Kanien’kehá:ka and English heritage, and a member of the Kentèhke community. Since 2001, she has lived and worked in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), where she obtained her Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University in 2004. Elected to the North American Eiteljorg Brotherhood in 2019 and recipient of the Giverny Price 2020, her work has been featured in numerous recent group and traveling exhibitions, including at the Art Gallery Windsor-Essex, the Maisons de la Culture de Montréal, the McKenzie Museum and the McCord-Stewart Museum. Her work is part of the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, the North American Native Museum in Zurich, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Alongside her artistic practices, she has taught at Kiuna College and has been a professor at Concordia University since 2020. She was a member of the Conseil des arts de Montréal from 2017 to 2023 and is is co-founder of daphne, the first Indigenous artist-run center in Montreal.

Approach and works on display

Words going from one place to another (2017)

In her artistic practice, she emphasizes a Kanien’kéhá:ka perspective that fosters equal relationships with all forms of life. ‘’Words going from one place to another’’ is a series of seven forms based on the commemorative plaque at Rocher Hochelaga on the McGill campus. This plaque commemorates the ‘discovery’ of an Indigenous village by Jacques Cartier in 1536. In this work, this colonial narrative is veiled to make space for other voices and to express divergent perceptions of time and space. From an Indigenous perspective, time is fluid, all-encompassing and multiple. The words in Kanien’ké:ha on each panel honor the elements that structure our world, intrinsic to the continuation of our daily lives: medicines, fire, earth, air, the moon and the sun. This inspiration draws from the Ohenton Karihwatekhwen, “The words that come first”, a Kanien’kehá:ke recognition protocol.


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