André Dudemaine | Founder and Director of Land InSIGHTS


20 ans d’audace et de culture © Martine Doyon

A passionate visionary, André Dudemaine was involved early in the promotion of Indigenous art and culture in Québec. In 1990, he co-founded the Land InSIGHTS organization, which launched the First Peoples Festival a year later. The event took root, like many others, in what would later become the Quartier des spectacles. From 1996 onwards, the festival offered a number of free outdoor events and welcomed Indigenous artists from all over the Americas hailing from multiple artistic disciplines, including music and film. The event forges ever-growing ties between the various communities involved.

André Dudemaine began his career as a filmmaker and has been at the helm of the First Peoples Festival for the past three decades. Every summer, for 10 days, he makes Montréal the capital of Indigenous creativity in the Americas. Traditional and multimedia exhibitions, musical performances and original film screenings are just a few of the diverse artistic products this inspiring festival has to offer. Three major awards are presented each year as part of the film program, which plays a key role in the First Peoples Festival’s programming at the Quartier des spectacles.

Over the years, André Dudemaine has served on the boards of various institutions, including Culture Montréal since its founding in 2002.

André Dudemaine’s outstanding contribution to the arts, culture and society has been recognized on several occasions: in 2017, he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the Université de Montréal; in 2018, he received the Meritorious Service Cross of the Governor General of Canada; and in 2019, he was made Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec. His commitment to cross-cultural understanding earned him several other accolades. André Dudemaine is Innu by birth and a member of the Mashteuiatsh community.