Pîkiskwe-speak Online Art and Film Installation:
An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation

Artist's Statement

COMING SOON! PÎKISKWE-SPEAK ONLINE to launch in late September.

Through 2017-2019, the Pîkiskwe-speak Art and Film Installation: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation toured across Canada, making stops at major centres in the east, the west and the north (See Tour Stops page). This important cross-Canada tour was a collaborative arts project undertaken by filmmaker Beth Wishart MacKenzie and Indigenous artist, Lana Whiskeyjack, in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of Confederation in Canada.  An anniversary gives us occasion to look back on our past while at the same time looking forward to new possibilities…

For Canada’s Indigenous peoples, acknowledging Canada’s 150th was deeply problematic because during this period of time more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children passed through the doors of Indian Residential Schools (IRS) designed to remove them from the cultural influences of their parents and communities and to assimilate them into mainstream Canadian society. The damaging effects of the system on IRS survivors and the children of survivors were brought to light by the careful work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The authors of the TRC Final Report write, “Getting to the truth was hard, but getting to reconciliation will be harder.” They go on to say, “Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem; it is a Canadian one.”

In this “Time of Reconciliation” Pîkiskwe-speak seeks to engage audiences in Conversations of Reconciliation through ART; conversations that will explore the enduring effects of Canada’s IRS system with the aim of writing a new chapter, painting a new vision, and creating a new protocol for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous relations in Canada.

With the cross-Canada tour complete, we now look forward to offering the content of the Pîkiskwe-speak Art and Film Installation ONLINE and to continuing the Conversation in Reconciliation we began with the tour.  The online installation will include photographs of the artworks created by Lana Whiskeyjack for the tour: the powerful mixed-media triptych, Lost My Talk, and other artwork related to the theme of the installation. It will also include the award winning documentary, Lana Gets Her Talk, created by Beth Wishart MacKenzie.  Our ONLINE audience will be invited to join the continuing Conversation in Reconciliation through word and through art.

PÎKISKWE-SPEAK ONLINE is an initiative of Beth Wishart MacKenzie created in cooperation with Lana Whiskeyjack.

 

IN APPRECIATION:

The creation of the Installation documentary film, “Lana Gets Her Talk”, was made possible with the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program.

The Cross-Canada Touring Art and Film Installation, pîkiskwe-speak, was “one of 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program (in commemoration of Canada’s 150th). With this $35M investment, the Council (exhibited its support of) the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.” (CCA Communiqué)

Pîkiskwe-speak ONLINE is made possible with a generous grant from the Edmonton Arts Council which provides Edmonton based artists opportunities to develop and present their work to local audiences and audiences across Canada and around the world.

Photography of the Online Installation Artworks by Lana Whiskeyjack was made possible with the generous support of the Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society.