Recasting Ainu Indigeneity in Museums Through Performing Arts

Photo by Dan Mariner

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 3, 2022 | 5 – 7 PM

Haida House at the Museum of Anthropology (no museum access) • Free 

6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2


Presented by Centre for Japanese Research + Museum of Anthropology at UBC and David Lam Centre at SFU.

Join us for a lecture and performance by Ainu Indigenous scholar/artist/dancer Dr. Kanako Uzawa.

In 2019, MOA and CJR were thrilled to welcome Indigenous Ainu singers Mayunkiki and Tomoe Yahata for a special Hokkaidō 150 event hosted by the Centre for Japanese Research (CJR) at UBC and MOA. The Ainu peoples are Indigenous to Hokkaidō of Japan and the Sakhalin and Kuril Islands of Russia.

In this follow up event, Dr. Uzawa gave a lecture as part of the Ainu, Okinawa and Indigeneity Series last year. This time, she will explore Ainu performing arts, through discussion and performance, as an important element of Indigenous knowledge. Dr. Kanako Uzawa is an Ainu scholar, advocate and artist. She will be participating in the Intercultural Indigenous Choreographer Creation lab at the Banff Centre this July. She was also a participating artist in the A Soul in Everything: Encounters with Ainu from the North of Japan exhibition at the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne, Germany and is currently involved with planning the upcoming Ainu exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art as a guest curator.

She is a multilingual cultural scholar who speaks Japanese, English, Norwegian, and limited Ainu and has lived in six different countries. She obtained her doctorate from the Arctic University of Norway in 2020, and is the founder of Ainu Today.

The event is made possible through the generous financial support of the David Lam CentreSchool for the Contemporary Arts, the Institute for Performance Studies and the Global Asia program at Simon Fraser University; the Centre for Japanese Research and the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia.

Please note: the event is free, but does not include access to the Museum, which will be closed during the event.


The recording of the event can be viewed below:



View the event page on the MOA website here.