New Inuit Art Sculpture Honours Teachers

Winnipeg Art Gallery’s new Inuit Art Centre, Qaumajuq, and The Manitoba Teachers’ Society have unveiled a new permanent outdoor sculpture dedicated to public school teachers.

The Verde Guatemala marble carving by Inuit artist Goota Ashoona will welcome visitors and school groups into Qaumajuq, on the corner of St. Mary Avenue and Memorial Boulevard in the heart of downtown Winnipeg.

The artwork was commissioned by The Manitoba Teachers’ Society “to honour teachers all around us—in the land and in our lives—who reveal the truth, wisdom and beauty that connect us all.” Titled Tuniigusiia/The Gift, Ashoona’s multifaceted sculpture reflects knowledge transfer through education and storytelling as well as the important role teachers play in our communities. Watch the video below to learn more about the sculpture and the artist.

Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre opens at the WAG this year. Meaning “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG building on all levels. Qaumajuq is the first art museum of its kind, bringing Inuit voices to the forefront, and dedicated to the art and culture of Inuit from Canada and beyond. To learn more, visit

“A beacon that both emanates and attracts light, Qaumajuq will celebrate the artistry and acknowledge the history of Inuit and First Peoples. And it will teach us, as all good teachers do, to challenge conventional wisdom and privileged perceptions to find truth, connection, and value in our shared humanity,” said MTS President James Bedford. “On behalf of Manitoba’s public school teachers, MTS is proud to dedicate Goota Ashoona’s Tuniigusiia/The Gift to the pursuit of understanding, compassion, wisdom and hope in the world.”

Stephen Borys, WAG director and CEO, says the art gallery and their dedicated learning and programs team has had the honour of building relationships with teachers across Manitoba to benefit youth throughout the province.

“Teachers have always played an incredible role in our communities and this has been brought into further focus in this difficult time,” Borys said. “This beautiful sculpture by Goota Ashoona captures and pays tribute to teachers’ contributions. We thank the Manitoba Teachers’ Society for this legacy gift – for their heartfelt support – and we thank all teachers for the work they do every day.”