Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Jackson Beardy (1945-1984)

Artist, writer.

Born at the Garden Hill Reserve in 1945 and educated at the Portage Collegiate, he was a Cree artist, a pioneer in expressing the new iconography of his people by reconceptualizing Indigenous symbolism. He made headlines when he was denied admission to his own exhibit at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 1970. He compiled Cree Indian Legends from Northern Manitoba (1971). In the 1970s, a newspaper reporter dubbed him a member of the “Indian Group of Seven” that also included Daphne Odjig, Norval Morriseau, Alex Janvier, Joseph Sanchez, Eddie Cobiness, and Carl Ray.

See also:

Jackson Beardy: Life and Art by Kenneth James Hughes (1979).


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

“Aboriginal artist’s career spanned six decades,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 October 2016.

We thank James Kostuchuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 July 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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