The spirits of our ancestors
I've always been inspired by my native culture and about my ancestors that I've just learned recently. I guess that's why, at a young age, I started creating my own drawings without even knowing I was originating native art work.
Our people used their surroundings to build, to feed, to survive, but mainly to live. In my painting, the women's body outline shows our generation. They led us to learn that women are as useful, strong, and smart as any men. They fought to be equal and got the respect they deserved, and that is why I am proud to be part of that heritage.
The main focus of my art piece are the northern lights. They represent the spirits of our ancestors, letting us true northerners see them as a sign of hope, faith, and a great view of nature’s beauty.
Another big part of my painting are the stars in the night sky. They represent how many tribes our ancestors built, as well, the animals they hunted to help feed our tribes.
The forest brightened by the northern lights are the representation of our ancestors’ environment. They survived by their creativity, by their own sense of knowledge and that's when the two tipis from my painting come in. They don't only symbolize their shelters but also how they are never alone. It took two people to create our people. We are all one and work better together than we are apart.
I painted a Native American blanket on the woman's body because I believe it represents the gift of team work, using the knowledge of women's with the help of the men. They originally made them from natures fibres and were usually crafted by the men of the tribes, and the women did all the weaving.
To conclude, my art piece mirrors the spirits of our ancestors and I believe they come out at night in the far north to guide us and to remind us that the earth is a delicate and a beautiful thing. They made us understand that working hard for what we want always pays off in the end and that creativity and beauty is a great thing.
Haudenosaunee (Oneida Nation of the Thames)
Wasauksing First Nation
Pinaymootang (Fairford, Manitoba)