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Indigenous Arts & Stories - Resilience


2016 - Art Winner

Jasmine Wemigwans

Toronto, Ontario , ON
Wikemikong, Potawatomi, Ojibway
Age 18

Author's Statement

My name is Jasmine Wemigwans; I am an Aboriginal Woman and I am a status band member of the beautiful Wikwemikong Unseeded First Nation, located on Manitoulin Island. I have always had a great passion and love for the visual arts for as long as I can remember. My devotion for visual arts was the reason I decided to attend Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, for their visual art program. As being an Artist creativity comes naturally to me in all aspects of my being and I try to remain positive and focus on my passion of art when life gets rough. Working with color and creating imagery that reflects my innermost thoughts is very rewarding and healing. It feels like lately my life has had more downs than ups, but painting brings me a release of that negative energy. As an Aboriginal woman I have encountered a number of challenges throughout my young life. Just being a visual minority in today’s society is challenging. In spite of our various differences, being an Aboriginal woman I share common concerns with the rest of the Aboriginal communities. With being an Aboriginal woman I feel I am viewed as more vulnerable in society; I feel more socially, economically and politically marginalized then our non-Aboriginal female counterparts. I have personally experienced racial stereotyping, discrimination. Not knowing my culture or speaking my native tongue of Anishinaabemodaa language leaves me feeling lost as Aboriginal woman and person. My piece, 'Resilience' was worked on during a very rough time period in my life, my family is falling apart and I feel we are becoming more of the stereotypical unstable "indian", Canadian media portrays. I do not like this sense of not having control, but painting this piece gave me hope that tough situations test you. Push you into the uncomfortable to make you change for the better. I feel like I have found my purpose; with painting. This will be my way of leaving my story and legacy on this earth. I am strong. I am independent and I will fight the statistics and work hard to achieve my goal of bringing my family out of darkness.