But slowly, slowly, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t feel the joy. I couldn’t feel the passion. I felt… grey. Nothing. Absent. I went through the motions and denied that anything was wrong. Or I would sigh and shake my head, because even if something was wrong, there was nothing anyone could do to “fix it.”
I stood still for a second, listening to the Rez accents in a big city, the sweet rush of ocean wind blowing through our hair, and I smiled. Sometimes you find kin in the most unexpected places.
I've been photographing my Northern Grads going onto my seventh summer. I have worked in Beauval, Patuanak, Meadow Lake, Birch Narrows, Prince Albert, Rosthern and North Battleford. I have worked with my Métis, Dene and Cree kids while laughing at thick accents and the massive amount of family members that show up for 'immediate family only' images.
I needed a very specific shot of an Indigenous woman, standing proud, playful, and sensual. No biggie. Just decolonizing images, one Indigenous at a time.
One of the first dates I went on was with a white guy. Which was new for me. Being from a small Northern Indigenous community, I usually dated Dene’s, Cree’s and sometimes, when I was feeling exotic, Métis. But “dating” in the North – it’s not like in the city.
I watched the skyline of Toronto being bathed in the golden light of sunset and laughed, frustrated. The skyline blocked out all that natural light from hitting us – so how do the Toronto photographers do this?
I don't love studio work, but I accept the challenge. I want to try. I want to learn. I want to make the mistakes.
A little bit of Indigenous magic.
And I think it was from the stories and community that this session carried. Nothing I do comes without stories.
I don't remember the first time that my family went to the Falls. I'm sure there's another name for them - a Dene name - but that's what I've called them in my head, so that's what they remain for now. But I remember climbing forever, it seemed, and the dry pine needles on the… Continue reading The Land Carries Stories
Mom grew up on the Farm. The Farm is this magical piece of land located down the road from Batoche, across the river from the St. Laurent Pilgrimage, and we would spend lazy weeks in our youth there, as well as a Boxing Day.