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Indigenous Arts & Stories - Perserverance


2019 - Art Winner

Kane Pendry

Edmonton, AB
Age 16

Author's Statement

Positivity is perhaps the greatest asset, any one individual or nation can have, to achieve an aspiration. To be able to look forward and strive for that goal unfolds a very rewarding and enjoyable journey. In my painting, I strived to capture this mentality and I chose to express it in the form of a totem pole - a traditional form to tell a story of historical events pertinent to the carver or people of the Northwest - and a Raven - bringer of light and good fortune. Because of the resilience and endurance of the Raven and its adaptability in the face of adversity, I chose the Raven, which is seen looking beyond the charred and cracked portion he is perched on towards the future. Particularity, I find the attributes of a Raven closely embodies the characteristics of myself and my hardships as well as those of the First Nations. Additionally, the fallen totem Pole symbolizes the tragic fall of our ancestors but with determination and optimism, it can be revived as depicted with the new layers of paint. Overall, the central meaning of the piece is to look towards the future in spite of obstacles and hardships for they are abundant in our lives whether accepted or not. From obstacles preventing a path to victory, to an antagonistic brother these hardships take many forms, and for those native to North America it was the brutal forces of assimilation, marginalization and the eradication of their cultures. Although, these struggles our ancestors faced and the legacy left behind it is challenging to adopt an optimistic point of view. As a competitive athlete myself, this monumental shift in mindset, was a very difficult challenge but once conquered it opened my eyes to a completely different world and without doubt a more gratifying one. All in all, this shift in mindset not only transforms the mind and soul but the ability of one to conquer a goal, and in this age of reconciliation, an optimistic point of view is not only a necessity of success but also that of happiness.