Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw / Giving Back to Mother Earth is a land based and ephemeral art exhibition. Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw / Giving Back to Mother Earth investigates how our relation to the land has shifted or deepened as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic. Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw / Giving Back to Mother Earth questions how this altered connection can inform our uncertain futures. It aims to transfigure the common notion of the gallery experience and the historically European imposed lens of understanding Indigenous art. In challenging this Eurocentric narrative, the artists are working towards Indigenous resurgence.
By creating on the land that the artists come from and live on, Nch’u7mut cheshá7 temíxw / Giving Back to Mother Earth wishes to honour both the land itself and the ancestors who have come before.
This curated exhibition invites a practicing of non-permanence and allows a moment to reflect on the often unequal relationship of give-and-take between peoples and land. This exhibition’s impermanence addresses the unsustainability of the mentality of resource extraction. We humans cannot just keep taking. In a sense, the pandemic is the result of our rapacious propension to take more and more, leaving other living beings with too little space.
How has your relationship with the land changed or not during the course of the pandemic? Does this shift in connection to land inform your future, and if so, how? What does your piece wish to address?
This exhibition explores the reciprocal interaction between artists and land – both gaining from this beautiful disturbance of land, as the land becomes a teacher.
Amina Creighton-Kelly, 2021
Catherine Joncas co-founded Ondinnok with Yves Sioui Durand and the late John Blondin in 1985. Catherine is a trained actor, an author and a theatre director. With the company, she notably directed Kiskimew in 2000, Contes d’un Indien Urbain in 2006, and Katkomiq in 2017. She has also partnered with Yves from 1994 to 1997 to direct the healing theatre in the Atikamek community of Manawan. She was also part of the team of the Indigenous Actor Intensive Training Program that Ondinnok provided from 2004 to 2010.
In 2018 she curated Constrained Body Dancing Body in collaboration with Tangente, an event dedicated to the emergence of Indigenous contemporary dance. For the last 50 years she has been travelling with Yves Sioui Durand on a road of art, love and decolonization.
Wendat endi’ wendake ethawetih yanariskwa ihotiokou’tenh
Yves Sioui Durand is from the Wendat Nation, born in Wendake and member of the wolf clan.
He is a writer, actor/performer and a director and the co-founder of Ondinnok, the first Native theatre company in Québec, now in its 36th year of creation. He is also the first French-Native director to produce a fictional film called Mesnak in 2010.
As an activist, he has worked to the develop Native living art in Québec and Canada. In 2017, he was granted for his achievements with the Governor General award of Canada and in 2018, he was nominated Compagnon des Arts et des Lettres du Québec by the Art and Letters Council of Québec. Now, he is a mentor for Ondinnok and still pursuing his creative work.
Peter Morin is a grandson of Tahltan Nation ancestor artists. Throughout his artistic practice, Morin investigates the impact zones that occur when Indigenous practices collide with Western-settler colonialism. Morin’s artworks are shaped, and reshaped, with Tahltan epistemological production and often take on the form of performance art interventions.
Morin’s practice has spanned twenty years so far, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Singapore, and New Zealand, as well as across Canada and the United States. In addition to his exhibition history, Morin has curated exhibitions for the Museum of Anthropology, Western Front, Bill Reid Gallery, and Burnaby Art Gallery. He was longlisted for the Brink and Sobey Awards, in 2013 and 2014, respectively. In 2016, Morin received the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Canadian Mid-Career Artist. Peter Morin is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Art at OCADU.
The Human Nature Collective is a multi-disciplinary arts group comprised of Theo Pelmus, Kris Snowbird, and Daina Warren, all of whom come from vastly different experiences and realities but share hyper similarities in the exploration of issues through creative self-expression. Unbound by medium, the collective of the Human Nature strives to interconnect ideas and issues to make statements of cultural fluidity. The collective of artists brings a wealth of practices ranging from visual to media arts, curation to installers, critical writing to arts administration. All have worked with each other for several years but have formalized into an artist collective in 2017. Our artistic process is adaptable to situational experiences and projects which leaves us open to working and collaborating with other interested, creative individuals.
Human Nature Collective includes artists:
Theo Pelmus: Tulcea, Romania
Kris Snowbird: Ojibway-Cree, Pine Creek First Nation, MB
Daina Warren: Akamihk Montana Cree Nation, Maskwacis, AB
Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ is a Nehiyaw Isko artist, from Bigstone Cree Nation. She currently resides in Amiskwaciy Waskahikan also known as Edmonton, Alberta. Cheyenne graduated from Emily Carr University with her BFA in Visual Arts in 2019. Her work often explores history, knowledge and traditional practices. Through the use of her body and language, she speaks to the past, present and future. Cheyenne’s work is rooted in the strength to feel, express and heal. Bringing her ancestors with her, she moves through installation, photography, video, sound, and performance art.
Shayla Elizabeth is an Iniwé (Cree)/mixed-blood cross-cultural adoptee, now repatriated, living in Winnpeg, MB, Treaty 1. I am a writer, poet, storyteller, Spoken Word artist who has been a member of the Indigenous (formerly Abo.) Writers’ Collective, MB, since 1999. My work is in the AWC self-published chapbooks, “Red City” and “Bone Memory”, with a story excerpt in the anthology xxx ndn. My poetry is also in Prairie Fire, CV2, First Perspective, and featured on CBC radio and NCI FM, among others and “Say the Word” website of the Wpg. Internat’l Writers Festival . I have been published in Manitowapow: Writings from the Land of Water, edited by Dr. Warren Cariou and Dr. Niigan Sinclair and have participated at Speaking Crow, a poetry open-mic. I was most recently published in RED RISING magazine, “Matriarchy” issue.
My name is Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde, I am a Kanienke’haka woman from Kahnawake. For the past 14 years I have been a grateful, active and contributing guest on Lekwungen territory, Victoria, BC. I hold a Master’s degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in the Indigenous Communities Counseling Psychology Program from the University of Victoria. I am currently enrolled in a PHD in Applied Theatre at UVIC. My areas of research are Contemporary and Traditional First Nations visual art, Indigenous performance practices, expressive arts therapy examining decolonial methodologies in art. My artistic practice focuses on Indigenous theatre, land-based/site-specific performance art, collaborative practice, cultural resurgence and social/political activism through the arts and healing. My artistic media include land- based photography, performance/theatre, movement/dance and visual studio arts. I held the position as the first Indigenous Artist in Residence for the City of Victoria 2017-2019. Co- facilitator for the collaborative project Achord. Visionary/Facilitator for both Indigenous Symposiums, Performance as Medicine, and Making as Medicine. Creative Vision/Producer/Co-facilitator/Community engagement for both Indigenous showcases Pendulum & Supernova, at the Belfry Theatre, Founder & Artistic director for the Visible Bodies Collective. Dance residency recipient at Dance Victoria 2020-2022. Director for the film Mother: embodied earth performances, Co- founder and Artistic Director for the Culture Den Society.
Whess Harman is Carrier Wit’at, a nation amalgamated by the federal government under the Lake Babine Nation. They graduated from the emily carr university’s BFA program in 2014 and are currently living and working on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh as the curator at grunt gallery.
Their multidisciplinary practice includes beading, illustration, text, poetry and curation. As a mixed-race, trans/non-binary artist they work to find their way through a tasty plethora of some kind of undiagnosed attention deficit disorder, colonial bullshit and queer melancholy. To the best of their patience, they do this with humour and a carefully mediated cynicism that the galleries go hog wild for.
Current projects include the Potlatch Punk series, various text-based works, zines, and comics.