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Trico Changemakers Studio “Indigenizing” space with art

MRU coworking space calling out for Treaty 7 nation artists

February 20, 2019 by Centaine Hlushak on Calgary Arts Development, Trico Changemakers Studio

Since it first opened at Mount Royal University, the Trico Changemakers Studio coworking space has strived to make its space inclusive and welcoming to all people, especially the Indigenous peoples upon whose land the city is built.

The latest endeavour to recognize Indigenous culture is the Trico Changemakers Studio’s ongoing callout through Calgary Arts Development for works of art by artists from each of the Treaty 7 nations – Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, Stoney-Nakoda, and Tsuut’ina – with plans to expand the callout to Cree and Metis peoples.

“There aren’t many spaces on campus where as soon as you walk in you feel an Indigenous presence, and we wanted to change that,” says Program Director Tash Calf Robe. The initiative was initially spearheaded by a summer intern at the Studio last year.

Tash explains that the Studio firmly believes in supporting “artists as changemakers.”

“We believe that art has a way of transforming spaces and mindsets, and bringing about creativity to people, and we wanted to use the artwork to bring about Reconciliation in a more visual way.”

The Trico Changemakers Studio wanted to ensure that the difference between “Indigenous art” and “Indigenous-inspired art” was clear in its search for art to adorn its walls. Tash says they didn’t want to misrepresent or pigeonhole the artists to traditional styles, and that the only requirement was for the piece to “spark inspiration and creativity” – art that just happens to be created by an Indigenous person.

“It’ll also help other people get away from the assumptions of what Indigenous artists produce.”

The Trico Changemakers Studio is proud to be a space where Indigenous students at Mount Royal University feel welcome to express their ideas and be part of a community of people who “get it,” and Tash says this is only the beginning.


  1. Are you an Indigenous artist? Get in touch with the Trico Changemakers Studio today.
  2. Learn more about Trico Changemakers Studio’s other Indigenous inclusion efforts, such as Blackfoot Language Lunch-and-Learns on March 13, April 3, and April 10.
  3. Check out the Trico Changemakers Studio’s services.
  4. Connect with the Trico Changemakers Studio on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Check out Trico Changemakers Studio’s Sustainability Profile on the REAP website.