Unlike most other travellers I met, I was Indigenous, and although not Indigenous to the lands I was trekking, I could identify and relate my Indigeneity to the contexts I found myself in. These countries I visited all have long and complex histories of colonial rule, war, and trauma, which I was able to connect to and empathize with due to similar colonial history and traumas within my blood and ancestral land.
"...all I want is for our upcoming generations to have moments peace just like that with their own songs, prayers, and ceremonies."
"On a soul level, though, when I hold these items I am filled with gratitude for the woman who made them, because to some degree I owe my existence to her basketry expertise and her ability to sell the baskets in this newly imposed system of capitalism."
However, over the past few weeks, I’ve been looking over in admiration at other artists more than I’ve been looking within, and although I want to get sit, sip and bring my ideas to fruition, I also want to celebrate the success of some kick-ass ladies working hard at that they love.
Tattooing was a tradition that was almost lost in our culture due to missionaries forbidding it and residential schools, Inuit were no longer continuing this tradition.
It was one of the most incredible and humbling moments of my life, I even took a moment to just stand there and take it all in.
Learning the language empowers us to connect to our culture and elders in ways that are deeply meaningful, but it is also vital for the well being of our communities as whole.
It’s been months since I’ve talked about my work. Depression and unraveling the layers of trauma can really get you down. I call it my cocoon phase, except I seem to be revealing more open vulnerable wounds then getting anywhere close to a butterfly.
I pour the beads out of the small plastic bags into separate piles on an old tea towel. Bright bags in every colour litter the dining room table as the odd bead rolls off the edge, bouncing on the floor as it finally comes to a stop somewhere by my feet. This has become all… Continue reading The Process of Beadwork – Catherine Blackburn, Guest Blogger
My Indigenous identity continues to be at the core of my practice and includes concepts involving land, memory and history with the majority of my work being produced on Six Nations Territory.