The last module in Indigenous Canada is about Indigenous art, in all its forms. Using creative expression, Indigenous artists are challenging our understanding of both their traditional and contemporary ways of being. For example, The 1491s is a group dedicated to using comedy and satire to illustrate the misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples throughout history. Links to two of their videos are at the end of this blog.
After sharing examples of Indigenous artistic expressions, Dr. Tracy Bear, one of the faculty teaching the course, sends us off with an assignment:
My first step in completing this assignment was to have a chat with Conor Kerr in the Indigenous Student Services at NorQuest College. I now have a list of a few Indigenous retail businesses in Edmonton: Mother Earth Essentials, Homefire Grill, Western Varieties Wholesale, Halford Hide & Fur, and Native Delights. My goal is to visit each of these businesses. I started with Native Delights, enjoying a delicious bison burger that packed enough nutrition to last me the entire day!
I was also able to attend the Indigenous Artists’ Market (I A M) A Very Indigenous Holiday Market. I spent a few hours enjoying the beautiful craftsmanship of over 30 artists and came home with a few treasures:
Colouring It Forward: Discover Northern Dene Nation Art & Wisdom (An Aboriginal Art Colouring Book) created by Diana Frost, featuring artwork by Christiana Latham and Michael Fatt. Each page is inviting me to add my own creative contribution while reflecting on the Dene teachings.
Water Droplet Suncatchers by Corine Nielsen, to hang in my front window and enjoy the rainbows of colour as the sun shines through. I have my eye on a few more of her creations for gifts so I’m hoping to catch her at the City Market Downtown.
A deer antler ammonite pendant created by Teya Eaglechild of the Kainai nation. As Teya explained, the pendant is 100% handmade: from hunting the deer, mining the ammonite, and carving both into a pendant, EagleChild Ammonite does it all!
Three photographs by Tom Baril, a powerful photographer who has created a Forgotten Moccasins Photo Project to honour murdered and missing Indigenous women by focusing on the children left behind. He also experiments with glass globes in his photographs, resulting in the photograph including an upside down image of itself.
Three small paintings by Reanna Lorraine Art, who experiments with acrylic paint, sand gel, and beads on canvas boards to produce textured art.
There was so much more that I wanted to get, such as the gorgeous handmade purses, but I was running out of time and money. Since
I A M has a table at the City Market Downtown every Saturday, I will be able to continue exploring the artwork and crafts and adding to my collection of authentic Indigenous products.
You can access the MOOC through: https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada#faq