About the PPIA Project

Promoting and Protecting Indigenous Arts (PPIA) is an online project and visionary initiative led by the Indigenous Futures Research Centre at Concordia University. PPIA’S mandate and vision is to promote, protect, and elevate Indigenous arts, practices, and cultural expressions through collaborative/engaged research and knowledge production.  

The heart of the PPIA website is a compilation of original essays from the publication Promoting and Protecting the Arts and Cultural Expressions of Indigenous Peoples, a compendium of experiences and actions initially printed in 2021. Alongside this foundational compendium, this website/platform is continually updated/enhanced/enriched with fresh scholarship, thought-provoking discussions, additional resources and ongoing research.

PPIA unites the wisdom and experiences of Indigenous artists, scholars, cultural stakeholders, and knowledge keepers who demonstrate a profound commitment to educate the public and collectively explore solutions to overcome current social/ institutional challenges related to cultural appropriation and Indigenous intellectual property in art.

About the Artist

Shaun Vincent is an artist, graphic designer and entrepreneur. He earned an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design, Communication Design from Red Red River College Polytechnic in 2003.

Growing up included spending time with family in the Métis community of St. Laurent, located on the southeast shore of Lake Manitoba, where Métis people lived since the 1800s. Shaun is the latest generation to care for land there, and where he feels most at home. As an Elder once told him, “the land knows your feet here.”

He founded Vincent Design Inc. in 2007, after several years working in the design industry. It was in those early years of his career that he saw the need for representational design.  It became the driving force for striking out on his own, building a branding and marketing firm with a focus on promoting Indigenous communities, organizations, and companies. 

From those early days in the basement of his St. Boniface home, he squeezed in hours while his three children were at nursery and elementary school, along with many late nights. Through it all, he knew he wanted to create authentic, memorable work. Since then, his children have become teenagers and Vincent Design Inc. has grown to include a team of 19.

Over his career, Shaun has designed hundreds of logos, specializing in those that require a deep understanding and sensitivity to the people and stories they represent. One example of this is his work on the Survivors’ Flag, This design was created for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in honour of residential school Survivors and all the lives and communities impacted by the residential school system in Canada. It was introduced during the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation federal holiday in 2021 and raised at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The design was also featured on a national television broadcast marking the day. 

His approach and style have evolved to show representation of Indigenous peoples that isn’t specific to the symbols that have become like shorthand – Métis oxcart, an Inuit inukshuk or a feather for First Nations – instead using animals and plants for the meaning and the way they don’t abide by Western ideas of borders and boundaries. His style, while influenced by the Woodlands and Cape Dorset styles, has become his own. 

As an Indigenous designer, he is immersed in the culture, carrying forward his experience into every project. Connections to the land, history and ‘knowing’ – the understanding that the spirit lives within each of us–are reflected in the process and the result. It is this Two-Eyed Seeing bridging Indigenous understanding with Western strengths.

Shaun is a Troop Leader for the 3rd Winnipeg Scout His volunteerism has been recognized with awards from both the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba. He also serves on the board of Building Urban Industries for Local Development, or BUILD, a social enterprise non-profit contractor and a training program for people who face barriers to employment. BUILD is headquartered in the Social Enterprise Centre, where the Vincent Design offices can also be found.