WELCOME! Please join the ongoing Conversation in Reconciliation.
This page is a space for Visitors to the ONLINE PÎKISKWE-SPEAK ART AND FILM INSTALLATION to leave responses to the Installation through ART. You are invited to submit music, videos, photographs, or photographs of other visual art below. Upon review*, these submissions will be added to the continuing Conversation in Reconciliation that Beth and Lana began in communities across Canada with the Pîkiskwe-Speak Tour in 2017-2019 (See TOUR STOPS). In each community they visited, Lana and Beth launched the Pîkiskwe-Speak Installation with a Community Conversation in Reconciliation. An Indigenous Elder from each host community guided the conversations, helping participants understand the impact of the Indian Residential School system on the people in their home territory. Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians joined the conversation across the land and we hope you will join the conversation virtually, in this space, so we can work together to heal the wounding in our nation and build community in this shared land.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL ADD A RICH DIMENSION TO THE ONGOING CONVERSATION IN RECONCILIATION.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR CREATIVE RESPONSES WITH HONESTY AND KINDNESS.
*THE OWNER OF THE WEBSITE, BETH WISHART MACKENZIE, RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SCREEN SUBMISSIONS FOR INCLUSION ON THE WEBSITE.
I had the great honour to play with my partner Alice Fraser at the opening of Pîkiskwe-speak Art and Film Installation at the Vancouver Central Library while the exhibit was on tour. Lana and Beth’s work is an important part of reconciliation and to beginning the journey toward healing. We performed two songs that night Sleeping Buffalo and Crosses and Sweetgrass. I have added a link to the music video to Crosses and Sweetgrass. The song is inspired and dedicated to the survivors of Indian Residential Schools and in memory of those who perished. The Canadian government and churches operated residential schools for more than 160 years. Over 150,000 First Nation, Métis and Inuit children entered these institutions, removed from their families, communities and forced to abandon their traditions, culture and languages. In 2005 the Government of Canada acknowledged their role in this tragedy and in the abuse that took place to Indigenous people in Canada, offering an apology to those who suffered at residential schools. The music video and song is an attempt at understanding the historical trauma of one’s life in this case, children of residential schools and the realization of the role that outside forces have in this oppression. The person or persons or institutions a child might have thought or been indoctrinated to think of as saintly or righteous were in fact the oppressors, abusers and not what they seemed or were taught to believe. A child often believes themselves to be “bad” or “wrong” and at fault for these transgressions against them. By identifying this internalization and recognizing the “source” of this pain is in itself a salvation and plays an important role in what can help “save” someone from the perpetual darkness of historical trauma. Crosses and Sweetgrass (Salvation) is a co-written song, music by Russell Wallace and Norine Braun, lyrics by Norine Braun, produced by Adam Popowitz, keys by Alice Fraser and vocals Norine Braun. Filmed on unceded Coast Salish Territory of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and on the traditional territory of Stó:lō. Shot on location at St. Helen’s Anglican Church, Acadia Beach and Fraser River Heritage Park.
Written and Directed by Norine Braun
Videographer and Editor: Tia Taurere-Clearsky
Second Camera Operator:
Production Assistant: Alice Fraser
This project was supported by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and the BC Arts Council and is recognized with deep gratitude. Thank you to St. Helen’s Anglican Church for the use of their church.