R. Kris Nahrgang is a multi-disciplinary artist working in wood, stone and traditional oil mediums. He is also an advocate for the rights of First Nations communities in Ontario and has liaised between Native and non-native groups with respect to archaeology since 2000.
Kris Nahrgang is a Status, Mississauga Ojibway Treaty Indian – status held at Curve Lake. His home is located close to the site of the Peterborough Petroglyphs which date back over a thousand years and are recognized as the largest single concentration of rock carvings in Canada.
Kris’ art is a continuation of this spirit and tradition of rock and story pole carving. His style has a balance of innovative, modern and traditional elements which have led to a growing recognition of his work across Canada and the world. His work has been noted in art periodicals including Insight, Art Impression and Collectibles, as well as MacLean’s Magazine.
An experienced diver, Mr. Nahrgang began an undergraduate degree in anthropology at Trent University, and has worked in a close relationship with underwater archaeologists at Parks Canada, mainly along the Trent Severn. Mr. Nahrgang has attempted to establish a cultural heritage/archaeological research and curatorial facility that will serve the needs of a large group of the smaller southern Ontario native communities. He served as a member of the advisory committee struck by the Ministry of Culture to contribute to the development of new Stage 1-4 archaeological assessment technical guidelines. As an Associate to the firm, he has worked closely with Archaeological Services Inc. on several projects, including the Aboriginal Consultation initiative for the North Pickering Development Plan. He is consulting widely with First Nations on matters relating to the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Recently Kris was commissioned by the Canadian National Exhibition to produce a 36’ UNITY POLE. The Pole was unveiled at the CNE in August of 2017, receiving national and international acclaim from the public and the media. Kris’s work can be found in numerous private and corporate collection including Anne Murray, Bill Cosby, Justin Trudeau, Keech Rainwater (of Lonestar), Nik Antropov (Atlanta Thrashers), Brian Skinner (Phoenix Suns).
In 2018 APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) aired Season One of “Future History”, a documentary series that challenges the colonial narrative and celebrates the reclamation of Indigenous knowledge and identity, which Kris and Jennifer Podemski co-created. Kris also host the series with dancer, choreographer, actor and activist Sarain Fox. Season One & Two can now be viewed on CBC Gem. Development work for a third season was put on hold due to the current pandemic.