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Indigenous Arts & Stories - In My Spirit

In My Spirit

2013 - Art Winner

Jared Boechler

Saskatoon, SK
Métis
Age 17

Author's Statement

Recently, I’ve become interested in learning more about my Métis heritage. I was inspired to create a picture that would explore the relationship between my grandparents, with my grandmother being the matriarchal link to the Métis history of our family. I chose to paint a moment/scene that presented itself as a study of relationships, but required a deeper look into the heritage and opposing attitudes of the people involved in the relationship to fully be able to understand the theme of the painting. My grandmother and grandfather’s views on our Métis heritage are opposing. My grandmother accepts and is proud of her Aboriginal status, while my grandfather is indifferent and dismissive to our heritage. My grandparents separated when I was quite young, and as I mature I find myself wanting to explore the identities of two people with drastically different personalities, opinions and views who at one time considered themselves a couple. My grandmother and grandfather are devout Catholics and I chose the setting of a cathedral because it is a place that represents one of the very few commonalities between them; Christianity and the belief in a Creator. The positioning of my grandparents in the painting is a very important aspect of the piece. My grandmother is closer to the altar, which represents an openness to listening and being taught about our Aboriginal ancestry. My grandfather is positioned farther away from the altar, which symbolizes his close-minded and distant attitude to our family history. I believe that it is healthy to understand and be accepting of all cultures. I have adopted my grandmother’s attitude on our heritage and would like to be able to say that if had I placed myself in the painting, I would be sitting near my grandmother.

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