Updates in Progress (March 2020)
To Be Added: maawandoobiwag (2019)
To Be Added: land (2017-18)
To Be Added: Overlay of the Land (2018-19)
now is the time to see the truth
fishing net, wood, corrugated plastic, lights
Ice Follies 2018 – Lake Nipissing, North Bay Ontario
Photo Credit: Liz Lott
As longtime cohabitants, the residents of North Bay and Nipissing First Nation have had a relationship that has been, at times, contentious with respect to the health their shared waterway, Lake Nipissing. A seemingly never-ending conflict over the declining population of pickerel finds many area residents and businesses blaming the Anishinaabeg for netting. At the same time, there exists an unacknowledged history of settlers who have, themselves, overfished these waters in the past and continue to take from Nbisiing, both in summer and winter, with hundreds of ice huts dotting the frozen landscape. This work looks to acknowledge this ongoing tension, while at the same time serve as a reminder that we are all responsible for the health of our shared resources. We live in precarious times of changing climate and destructive pollution of our waterways and in the end, we are all stewards of these lands. Ni waamjigaadeg debwewin.
H.I.O Big Chiefs
The Gallery – Pratt Homes, Barrie Ontario
<more photos to be added>
By-Products of Assimilation
Altered Sleeping Bags, Glass Beads, Cotton Twine
Mush Hole Project – Mohawk Industrial Residential School
Installation Views: The Mush Hole Project, Brantford ON, September 2016 and Undergraduate Final Installation, NSCAD University, Halifax NS, August 2016
In cities across Canada, Indigenous people comprise a disproportionately high percentage of the homeless population. Though the causes stem from a myriad of reasons, a known contributing factor is intergenerational trauma stemming from residential schools and similar displacements like the 60’s Scoop and discrimination within Canada’s Child Welfare System, which is still ongoing (Caryl 14). It was within this context that I started considering the sleeping bag as an object which is both a luxury commodity used by Canadians to “reconnect with nature”and a necessity for displaced and homeless First Nation peoples; an object that can connect the history and legacies of residential schools to the realities of today.
I begin by deconstructing new sleeping bags, removing their outer shells. The process is meticulous, calculated, and measured. By “skinning” these sleeping bags, I remove their protective cover, exposing the vulnerable material inside to the outside world. I take away their intended function, imposing my will to change what they are. An attempt is then made to reconstruct the baffles and overall structure of the exposed by-product, stitching it back together with cotton twine and beadwork. I attempt to reconcile the damage inflicted through what is left. It is through this process that I explore the concept and reality of reconciliation.
Caryl, Patrick. Aboriginal Homelessness in Canada: A Literature Review. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Press, 2014.