40 Chains a Side: Some Resources

I have compiled some resources here that I hope are useful in thinking about Settler responsibility and the ongoing harms of Settler-Colonial structures on Turtle Island. 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 access 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)

Treaty 6

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

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

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. 

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.”

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.

The Clock is an Unreliable Narrator

I’m in the middle of my last day of self-isolation.

I’ve been packing, cleaning, preparing to move to my more permanent residence … about to dive headlong into the next month of work. The first of two Spring Intensive in-person sessions for my MFA is about to start Monday morning.

It feels a bit dislocating … discombobulating maybe a better (certainly more interesting and theatrical) word for it. The way time has warped over the last 2 weeks, the speed with which things are starting to happen in preparation for the work to begin in earnest.

So, to … mark this shift into a new way of being, I offer here a brief meditation on the unreliability of the devices humans have used to mark time’s passage.

You don’t notice the miscues until they are what anchors you to the day. There’s something not quite right with the mechanism, you can hear it, but only sometimes. In those moments, the clock changes character completely; it’s no longer the drone of the day, the comforting rhythm that’s easy to ignore. Then it stops, or doubles up on itself, hiccups … becoming something more consuming … a nervous tick that reminds you of what you can’t fully grasp: the tiny, incremental changes all around you, that you can’t see and can’t hear, but are, nevertheless, more reliable narrators of change and time’s passage than humans will ever be.

Meeting Me (virtually) tonight

Just a quick shout-out to anyone who might want to attend (yet another) webinar :) …

I’ll be speaking on my work and process this evening for #AGAlive, for the Art Gallery of Alberta’s Art Rental & Sales “Meet the Artist” series. The link to register is:

https://www.youraga.ca/events-features/calendar/agalive-meet-artist-sydney-lancaster

The talk is at 6pm MDT (Edmonton AB Time), and will last about an hour, including a Q&A.

A quick preview of a couple of things I’ll be chasing about:

Hope you can make it!

A Meet the Artist Event

I have been invited to participate in “Meet the Artist” for the Art Gallery of Alberta’s Art Rental and Sales program.

This will be a FREE, online, informal conversation with Sarah Huffman of the AGA; I’ll be walking participants through some recent projects, showing some new work that will be avaialable through Art Rental & Sales and talking about my approach to art-making.

If you’re interested and have the time, it would be lovely to see you – there will be a Q&A after the presentation.

Stay safe, and enjoy art!

A Walk in the Trees …

I have been busy working through the last few months of documentation from the work done this year on MAKE=BELIEVE. So much to think about, and many, many threads of research to pursue. The longer I work on this installation, the more I learn and discover. What a joy that is.

Here’s part 1 of a walk through the installation – I hope it’s a chance for people to pause for a few minutes, and maybe provide a little break in these odd and crazy times.

Looking forward to any feedback you may want to provide. Stay well & safe.

A step back in time …

I have had several people ask me to post video documentation of the exhibition of Macromareal (a rising tide lifts all boats) that just closed at SNAP, as they were not able to see the work in person.

Grateful for a couple of quiet days, so that I could get to the documentation, and actually DO this!

So – here you are – a short video walk-through of Macromareal!

A note in the sound you will hear: the first is an excerpt of “Fogbreath,” created by Scott Smallwood from field recordings in and around Parrsboro NS, where we held residencies to create this work in 2016 and 2017. This sound work was presented in the first gallery, as shown in the video.

The second is an excerpt of a recording of “Wave Passage Effects,” which Scott created in MAX, and which was presented in real time in the second gallery, with a video projection of the software used to sonny environmental data in real time in the gallery. This was an opportunity to ‘see sound’ and ‘hear environmental data’ from the magnificent Bay of Fundy.

The third excerpt is from the recording of the (very first!) 2017 performance of “Macromareal Prelude: in fog and storm and sunshine” composed by Scott as part of this project. We presented this work at the beginning of the exhibition at SNAP Gallery as well, but with a group of wonderful brass musicians.

Hope you enjoy this – and if you have questions. please feel free to shoot me a note from my contact page.

One Last Look …

I am in the process of editing a raft of documentation from the recently-closed Macromareal exhibition at SNAP. Below, a selection of images from that exhibition – a fond reminder for me of how lovely it was to show in this beautiful gallery & be supported by such an excellent organization – and a sampling of what was there for those who weren’t able to see the work in person.

Artist Talk Coming Up!

I am really not sure where the last month has gone … but here we are, in October!

And that means (for me) that Macromareal (a rising tide lifts all boats) will be closing at SNAP Gallery … but first:

SATURDAY October 10, 2020 – 1pm – 2pm MST SNAP will be presenting our artist talk, online.

Macromareal approaches the tidal range in the Bay of Fundy, its documentation, and related environmental data through a series of interrelated works that explore the cyclic and durational aspect of natural processes, and the relationship between those processes, human activities, and conceptions of time and memory. The artists will discuss the trajectory of the Macromareal project, their collaboration, and the resulting concoction of work in the exhibition.

This lecture is free, online, and open to the public.

IF you would like to join us for the talk, please REGISTER HERE>

IF you’re in Edmonton, you can still catch the exhibition in person before it goes away throughout this week on a drop-in day, or book a visit on SNAP’s website.

Looking forward to discussing the project, and hearing your thoughts and questions.

MACROMAREAL – at SNAP

Very excited to say that MACROMAREAL (a rising tide lifts all boats) will be opening at SNAP (Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists) on September 11, 2020!~

It’s a VERY odd time to be presenting work to the public – but I am so happy with all the precautions SNAP has in place, and so very happy to sew showing work in their BRAND NEW home!

There’s several things going on for this iteration of MACROMAREAL. Both Scott and I have re-worked existing elements of the project, and I have been busy since the last time this work was shown making a bunch of new prints! So, brand new work for us in a new space – how lucky can you get??

The exhibition will be opening on the evening of September 11, from 7 – 9 pm. This will be a hybrid event: SNAP is pre-booking (free) tickets to see the show in person, and limiting the number of people in the gallery at one time, so that everyone can stay safe AND see the art in person. We will also be online – Scott & I are attending the Opening virtually, so more people can see the work in person if they want to – and anyone else who wants to attend virtually is welcome to do so as well!

Fundy Sine, Cyanotype on Cotton, 2017.

There will also be a socially-distanced LIVE performance of Scott Smallwood’s score “Macromareal Prelude: in Fog and Storm and Sunshine” on Saturday September 12, at 1:00 pm local time, in the immediate neighbourhood of SNAP, outsdoors. We are both extremely happy to be able to work with some excellent local Edmonton musicians for this event, and to be able to present this work live in a safe way. This is a ‘roving’ performance work; the musicians will be moving in the neighbourhood as they play, and will be distanced; we ask that anyone attending keep 2metres or more from any musician(s) they encounter, and PLEASE wear a MASK!

Dress rehearsal for the original performance of Scott’s score in 2017, Parrsboro NS

Scott and I will also be presenting an artists’ talk about the genesis and evolution of the project on Saturday, October 10th, again at 1pm local time. This talk will be presented online.

A collage of various elements of the project as it evolved

And for some added fun: I will be facilitating a cyanotype workshop/demo online for SNAP on Thursday September 17, starting at 6pm.

Caution, Cyanotype on Cotton, 2019

Looking forward to all of this very much – and hope that you can join us for some of it.

A Talk, Upcoming

Very happy to say that I will be presenting a talk with John Waldron about our cross-disciplinary work on the Boundary|Time|Surface project next week.

If you are in the Wolfville, Nova Scotia area, the talk is being presented at Acadia University – details in the image above.

Looking forward to sharing this project with students from both Visual Arts and Earth Science!