These Days, Upon Us ALL.

Couple of articles here too, with thanks to the Globe and Mail for highlighting these voices:

https://globe2go.pressreader.com/article/281728389147735

https://globe2go.pressreader.com/article/281784223720196

I find myself considering the parallels between erasures – especially of late, given the recent ‘scandal’ to rock Parliament. The tried and true argument that “we didn’t know” that runs through this moment ( and the various forms of pushback that insist “it wasn’t that bad” or “it didn’t happen” or “show me the proof”) are the voices of those invested in the status quo: in the continued silencing of those voices that speak truth to power, and to the system of settler-colonialism that permeates every aspect of the dominant culture in this country.

I wonder at the blindness. I wonder at the cruelty. I wonder at the refusal to listen, let alone acknowledge our continued collective culpability … for so many things. And to actually ACT – to expect and insist that those in power do better – seems more difficult by the day.

Time to think and consider (yet again): What more can we each do to create lasting change here? This is a question that has motivated me for many years, and motivated the work I did for my MFA. It will continue to motivate me to try to do better, to be a better neighbour and be in genuine relation.

Just trying to get level …

The saying goes ‘the devil is in the details’ … nothing truer than in the last bitty things that go into making an exhibition happen.

We got there, though!

peeling … nothing more than peeling …

My thanks to the Rotary Arts Centre for hosting this work and for treating me so well … more on that very soon when I catch up on a little rest …

Taking a Moment …

As a settler and uninvited guest wherever I walk in this country, I recognize that many people will be sporting Orange Shirts tomorrow. This action, like the (now ubiquitous) Land Acknowledgment, risks becoming a perforative gesture that assuages guilt temporarily, or (as bad or worse) is seen simply as ‘proper’ to do.

My choice is to step back, shut up, and make room – on September 30th, of all days. Yes I will wear an orange shirt; as a mother and grandmother, I can think of nothing more traumatic or horrendous than to lose a child. As a human being, I feel deeply my responsibility to learn and understand, so that I may better assist in appropriate ways to make things better where I can. As a settler, I cannot make a move to claim innocence, when I live within and benefit from the ongoing harms the Settler-Colonial systems in play in this country are still operating.

I am a deeply imperfect work in progress, trying to find the best way to live better in relation. One day at a time.

I leave the following here, as I feel Paulette Regan expressed my thoughts better than I ever could:

For me, Canada’s apology [11 June 2008, then-Prime Minister Harper] was a call for settlers to take seriously our collective moral responsibility for the systematic removal and institutionalization of Native children, some of whom were abused and most of whom were deprived oftheir family life, languages, and cultures. Although the debilitating impactsof sexual, physical, and psychological abuse upon children are self-evident, and Canadians condemn such practices, the problematic assimilation policy that gave rise to such abuses is less understood by the Canadian public. To those who argue that they are not responsible, because they were not directly involved with the residential schools, I say that, as Canadian citizens, we are ultimately responsible for the past and present actions of our government. To those who say that we cannot change the past, I say that we can learn from it. We can better understand how a problematic mentality of benevolent paternalism became a rationale and justification for acquiring Indigenous lands and resources, and drove the creation of prescriptive education policies that ran counter to the treaty relationship. Equally importantly, we can explore how this mentality continues to influence Indigenous-settler relations today. Failing to do so will ensure that, despite our vow of never again, Canada will create equally destructive policies and practices into the future. To those who argue that former IRS students should just get over it and move on, I say that asking victims to bury a traumatic past for the “greater good” of achieving reconciliation does not address the root of the problem –colonialism.

Paulette Regan, Unsettling the Settler Within, p.4

40 Chains a Side: Some Resources

To those who argue that they are not responsible, because they were not directly involved with

the residential schools, I say that, as Canadian citizens, we are ultimately responsible

for the past and present actions of our government. To those who say that

we cannot change the past, I say that we can learn from it. We can better understand

how a problematic mentality of benevolent paternalism became a rationale

and justification for acquiring Indigenous lands and resources, and drove the

creation of prescriptive education policies that ran counter to the treaty relationship.

Equally importantly, we can explore how this mentality continues to influence

Indigenous-settler relations today. Failing to do so will ensure that, despite our

vow of never again, Canada will create equally destructive policies and practices

into the future. To those who argue that former IRS students should just get over

it and move on, I say that asking victims to bury a traumatic past for the “greater

good” of achieving reconciliation does not address the root of the problem –

colonialism.

FROM Unsettling the Settler Within, Paulette Regan, UBC Press 2010, p.4

I have compiled some resources here that I hope are useful in thinking about Settler responsibility and the ongoing harms of Settler-Colonial structures in so-called Canada. All of this material was useful to me in doing the research for my MFA. Wherever possible, I have provided online links to information; I think it is important to eliminate barriers to information wherever possible. While I recognize this page still requires being able to access to the internet, at least more people in more places can use these tools if I offer them here than could otherwise.

If you are interested, please feel free to investigate the project 40 Chains a Side as a whole.

I have listed resources with web links first in each subject area; all links were current and active March 1 2022. Articles and books that follow these first listings may be accessible through local libraries or through university/college library systems. 

Truth and Reconciliation 

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (links to info and history of the Commission)

Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action (downloadable PDF)

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2 Spirit People

Final Report (downloadable PDFs)

UBC Research Guide (links and downloadable information and resources)

Interlocutor Interview

Treaty 6

Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations (information and history, PDF downloadable fact sheet)

Treaty 6 (Wikipedia – includes references and links to more info)

Digital Copy of Treaty 6

Text of Treaty 6 + adhesions

Surrender Document for Reserve No.126 (Washatenow)

The Métis

Metis Nation of Alberta (information and history)

Métis Nation of Ontario (history/timeline)

Gabriel Dumont Institute (history, images, resources)

Devine, Heather. “J.Z. LaRocque: A Métis Historian’s Account of His Family’s Experiences during the North-West Rebellion of 1885.” Finding Directions West : Readings That Locate and Dislocate Western Canada’s Past, University of Calgary Press, 2017.

Land and Territory

Native Land (digital interactive map of traditional Indigenous Territories)

Assembly of First Nations (AFN). (land and land claims)

Daschuk, J. 2013. Clearing the Plains. Regina: University of Regina Press. 

Erasmus, P. 2015. Buffalo Days and Nights. Calgary: Fifth House Publishers. 

Russell, D. 1991. Eighteenth Century Western Cree and Their Neighbours. Issue 143 of Mercury Series. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization. 

Disposal” of “Indian Lands”

A good discussion of what “Treaty” actually means in their Land Acknowledgement

Doctrine of Discovery

Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery: A Call to Action

Doctrine of Discovery – Sylvia McAdam 

United Nations Report on Doctrine of Discovery (PDF)

Recommendations of the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus to the Eleventh Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues re – Doctrine of Discovery (PDF)

Miller, Robert J. and others, Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies (Oxford, 2010; online edn, Oxford Academic, 1 Sept. 2010)

Dominion Land Survey

Dominion Land Survey (Wikipedia – includes references and links to more info)

Ballantyne, Brian, ed. Surveys, Parcels and Tenure on Canada Lands (downloadable PDF)

Dennis, John Stoughton (1892). A short history of the surveys performed under the Dominion lands system, 1869 to 1889. Ottawa: Sessional Notes. 

http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/1777/12.html

Library and Archives Canada. “Western Land Grants (1870-1930).” The Wayback Machine

McKercher, Robert B.; Wolf, Bertran (1986). Understanding Western Canada’s Dominion Land Survey System (PDF). Saskatoon: Division of Extension and Community Relations, University of Saskatchewan. ISBN 0-88880-164-5. (downloadable PDF)

Barnett, Douglas E. “The Deville Era: Survey of the Western Interior of Canada.” Alberta History, vol. 48, no. Spring, 2000, pp. 19–25.

Bantjes, Rod. “Groundwork: The Dominion Survey.” Improved Earth: Prairie Space as Modern Artefact, 1869 – 1944, University of Toronto Press, 2005, pp. 15–35.

Larmour, Judy (2005). Laying Down the Lines: A History of Land Surveying in Alberta. Brindle and Glass. 

MacGregor, J. G. Vision of an Ordered Land: The Story of the Dominion Land Survey. Western Producer Prairie Books, 1981.

Settler-Colonialism

Settler Colonialism” (basic introduction to theory with references)

Cox, Alicia. “Settler Colonialism.” Introduction to Oxford Bibliography. (provides list of good articles on the subject)

Whyte, Kyle Powys. “White Allies, Let’s be Honest about Decolonization.

Cuthand, Ruth. “I’m Not the Indian You’re Looking For.

Shaw, Devin Zane. “We Settlers Face a Choice:Decolonization or White Supremacy.”

Go to 15:20 for the start of a powerful and very informative talk by Métis Scholar and Educator Chelsea Vowel.

Here is the abstract of her talk:

Multiculturalism Cannot Contain Multitudes: Towards a Lateral Relationality and Undoing of Settler Colonialism

Chelsea Vowel 

Despite claims to the contrary multiculturalism operates as the inheritor of official and unofficial policies both cultural and economic that are specifically designed to assimilate newcomers into the white supremacist settler colonial state, thereby ensuring the continued existence of Canada. While effort has been made recently to pay homage to Indigenous peoples as a singular founding people alongside the French and British, we continue to represent an existential threat that cannot be reconciled with the stated purpose of multiculturalism which centres awareness and celebration of diverse cultures. This presentation offers as an alternative, a lateral form of relationality based on the Métis/Cree concept of wâhkôhtowin or expanded kinship, with the purpose of undoing white supremacist settler colonialism.

Links to Articles in the Press and Elsewhere, and Talks of Interest:

Irish Times:

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/2022/11/19/manchan-mangan-indigenous-people-ireland-and-guardians-of-old-lore/?fbclid=IwAR2M5M80slYf1bsVa77fsnn1TSoT2gVhpIOs_LqMlVhHgqdCiLcc-V-u-MU

Alexis Shotwell on White Shame

A Talk on Settler Colonial Space

An Article on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and some educational resources

FREE E-BOOKS – good resources!

A Climate Atlas relating Indigenous Knowledges to dealing with Climate Change

A Documentary Film, Lana Gets Her Talk – This brief study of an artist and her work helps us come to some understanding of the trauma experienced by Canada’s Indigenous people in the Indian Residential School system, of its enduring effects on the children of survivors of the IRS, and of one woman’s journey to recover what was lost: dignity, identity, and voice. A story of resilience, Lana’s journey speaks of the power of Indigenous “ways of being” in our time.

Articles and Books (check with Public Libraries or University/College Libraries for copies):

Alfred, Taiaiake. “Foreword.” Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada, by Paulette Regan, UBC Press, 2010, pp. ix–xi.

Battell Lowman, Emma, and Adam J. Barker. Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada. Fernwood Publishing, 2015.

Decter, Leah, and Carla Taunton, eds. Beyond Unsettling: methodologies for decolonizing futures. Public Journal, Fall 2021. vol. 32, no. 64.

Greer, Allan. Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America. Cambridge UP, 2018.

Henderson, Phil. “Imagoed Communities: The Psychosocial Space of Settler Colonialism.” Settler Colonial Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, 2017, pp. 40–56.

Mann, Geoff. “Settler-Colonialism’s Anti-Social Contract.” The Canadain Geographer, vol. 64, no. 3, 2020, pp. 433–44.

Morgensen, Scott Lauria. “The Biopolitics of Settler Colonialism: Right Here, Right Now.” Settler Colonial Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011, pp. 52–76.

Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. “Introduction: White Possession and Indigenous Sovereignty Matters.” White Possessive., University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

Murphyao, Amanda, and Kelly Black. “Unsettling Settler Belonging: (Re)Naming and Territory Making in the Pacific Northwest.” American Review of Canadian Studies, vol. 45, no. 3, 2015, pp. 315–31.

Strakosch, Elizabeth, and Alissa Macoun. “The Vanishing Endpoint of Settler Colonialism.” Arena Journal, vol. 37/38, 2012, pp. 40–62.

Steinman, Erich. “Unsettling as Agency: unsettling settler-colonialism where you are.” Settler Colonial Studies, vol.10, no. 4, 2020, pp.558 – 575.

Tuck, Eve, and K.Wayne Yang. “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeniety, Education & Society. vol. 1, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1-40.

Veracini, Lorenzo. “‘Settler Colonialism’: Career of a Concept.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 41, no. 2, 2013, pp. 313–33.

Wolfe, Patrick. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 8, no. 4, 2006, pp. 387–409.

Slippages – video of the performance

Back in Edmonton now, doing some post-performance and post-Thanksgiving work: the “get yer ducks in a row” for the next work to be done.

Much to be thankful for, as always – being able to make work with talented collaborators, the opportunity to share ideas and approaches here and in person, the tremendous support I receive from my family and friends (without whom none of this would be possible).

So – a brief moment to take stock, and to share a link to the video of the performance shot for Livestream on October 5th.

Click on the IMAGE BELOW to go to the UBC School of Music’s video:

The Present is the Key to the Past: Glaciers, Scores, & Sound

Here’s a great little interview with Jonathan Girard and Deborah Carruthers about Slippages,and some of the thinking behind the work! Getting very very excited to see this all come together tomorrow. Enjoy!

Exhibition Walk Through: MAKE=BELIEVE, in Archived Land – Terrain Archivé

There’s one more week to see Archived Land – Terrain Archivé at Jackson Power Gallery in Edmonton.

The show closes 5pm September 29th.  Gallery hours are by appointment (780-499-7635) during the week, and Noon – 5 pm on Saturday.

For those of you who can’t make it in person, here’s a short video walk-through of my installation, MAKE=BELIEVE. Hope you enjoy it. (turn ON your sound!)

Opening Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivé

Had a lovely time at the Opening Reception for Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivé this past Friday night.

A HUGE Thank You to everyone that came out on a busy evening, with less than ideal weather!

We all had a busy night; lots of lovely conversations, and thoughtful comments. The best way to launch new work into the world.

I was also really happy that the lovely humans that have supported this project from the outset – and on whose land the original living installation sits – were able to attend and see this first foray into taking the MAKE=BELIEVE project into a different context! looking forward to lots of chats and feedback from them on this exhibition!

For those of you who weren’t able to be there last Friday: Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivé is up until 5pm September 29th. Regular hours are NOON – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays – other times by appointment.

I will be gallery sitting on Sunday, September 23rd, NOON – 5pm, if you want to visit!

Some images of my installation/room below:

Archived Land – Terrain Archivé

I am very happy to say that I will be presenting some brand-new work in a group show coming up very soon!

Details below – I look forward to seeing anyone in the area who cam make it to the Opening Reception.

Exhibition hours after the Opening are listed in the invitation, or by appointment.


Exhibit image (altered): Provincial Archives of Alberta #GR1983.0421

Some information about the exhibition:

ARCHIVED LAND : TERRAIN ARCHIVÉ   at Jackson Power Gallery, Edmonton September 15 to 29

2ndfl, 9744 60 Ave, Edmonton, AB

Opening reception 7pm, September 14, 2018

Exhibit hours: Noon to 5pm

Saturdays and Sundays, September 15 to 29

Or by appointment: 780-499-7635

 

Jackson Power Gallery presents Archived Land : Terrain Archivé, the final exhibit before the gallery closes its doors.

Land holds memory: layered, fragmented, buried, or strongly etched.  It represents identity and connection to our own history and to those who came before us; a narrative landscape that intersects human experience and the natural world.

The gallery’s layout of separate but interconnected rooms forms an environment for individual artist’s interpretation of the theme, providing the visitor with the perception of movement through time and place.

Exhibiting artists:

BELLE//MONDO

Une initiative par collaborateurs/a collaborative initiative by:

Patrick Arès-Pilon & Conor McNally

BELLE//MONDO vous invite à rentrer dans un assemblage de photographie tirée de vrai pellicule diapo Ektachrome datant de 1997.  Cette oeuvre place un regard sur les environnements naturels et bâtis captée sur le territoire du traité numéro 6 incluant à Edmonton, Spruce Grove et La Sapinière en 2018.

BELLE//MONDO welcomes you to enter an immersive photography installation using vintage 35mm Ektachrome slide film (frozen since 1997). This collaborative work features layered sights of natural and built environments captured on Treaty 6 land in and around Edmonton, Spruce Grove & La Sapinière in 2018.

 

Paddy Lamb

Paddy considers himself to be a Canadian, Irish, Ulster Scots, Quaker, Huguenot, Celtic, Proto-Indo-European citizen of the world. His painting, drawing, and installation work acknowledges the role of landscape as a repository for our history, culture and collective memory, exploring the imprint of society on nature and how we form deep and lasting attachments to the land. His work is also a form of self-examination – a search for alternatives that continue to define his ‘sense of place’.

 

Sydney Lancaster

Sydney’s multidisciplinary practice explores the complicated position the individual inhabits in relation to ideas of place, land & ownership, and the ways in which both people and spaces are ‘written upon’ by larger social-political-cultural narratives over time. She is interested in the realities exposed by branches that only bend so far and how newer growth offers much more flexibility, but less strength for supporting weight.

Ultimately, her work is about how we understand and make sense of the land and the space between us.

 

Marlena Wyman

As a long-time archivist and now Edmonton’s Historian Laureate, Marlena Wyman’s art practice is informed by history, and her rural Alberta upbringing provides her with a deep connection to land.

We interpret our memories and identities in part through traces of past lives, whether of our ancestors or others. A haunting photograph or a handwritten passage in the diary or a letter of a long dead stranger can create a profound personal connection.