Culture Days celebrates the installation of four art pieces by Indigenous artists at Air Canada Park
BY ALEXANDRA SCHMIDT
THIS PLACE on Treaty 1 Territory & The homeland of the Métis Nation was a free celebration that took place on Friday, September 28, 2018 in Air Canada Park to launch four new art installations by Indigenous contemporary artists. The pieces were commissioned by the Winnipeg Arts Council through the City of Winnipeg’s Public Art Policy, with participation from the Government of Canada – one of 470 free cultural events taking place during Culture Days Manitoba.
The four art pieces Rolande Souliere’s Mediating the Treaties, Julie Nagam’s Electrical Currents, RBOHY Inc.’s (Rebecca Belmore and Osvaldo Yero) O-ween du muh waun (We were told) and Kenneth Lavallee’s The Square Dancers – were displayed throughout the park. Together, the sculptures represent Indigenous engagement with the land and ways of being with one another. THIS PLACE also showcased music performances by The Help Wanteds, Leonard Sumner, Ashman Stompers and more.
Rebecca Belmore and Osvaldo Yero’s sculpture “O-ween du muh waun (We Were Told), comprised of concrete and weathering steel, symbolizes the failed attempts to assimilate Indigenous people by settlers. / ALEX SCHMIDT
Dr. Julie Nagam’s “Electrical Currents” represents Manitoba’s dependency on hydroelectricity and the communities affected by damming. Nagam is the chair of the History of Indigenous Art in North America with the University of Manitoba and The WAG. / ALEX SCHMIDT
Kenneth Lavallee’s statue entitled “The Square Dancers” is made of painted steel. This installation represents the traditional square dancing or jigging of the Métis people. / ALEX SCHMIDT
Rolande Souliere’s “Mediating the Treaties” addresses the verbal and written negotiations of Treaty No. 1 and is made of stainless steel and granite. / ALEX SCHMIDT
Rolande Souliere, an Anishinaabe artist, talks about her sculpture “Mediating the Treaties,” a two-headed coin art piece. / ALEX SCHMIDT
Gerry “Big Bear” Barrett, also known as “Ojibwe Elvis,” was the emcee of This Place, a free launch event celebrating the four art installations. / ALEX SCHMIDT
The band “The Help Wanteds” provided entertainment at This Place. ALEX SCHMIDT