My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake; it will be the artists who give them their spirit back. – Louis Riel
It has been a long journey to bring a country of people together. People who belong to the same mother earth as each other. We have come a long way, but a long way to go we have; whatever the blood that runs in your veins encompasses, it’s our hearts that brings us together as one people. There is no returning to make a new beginning; but together we decide the ending.
Artist #1: John Palmer, age 37
My name is John Palmer, and I am a proud Aboriginal man from the Mohawks of Quinte Bay. Growing up I was not given the opportunity to know much about what it meant to be Mohawk, and now I look back and feel sad that I did not find out the traditional way sooner. I now have my own children which I pass on everything I learn to them; it is my duty as a father, but also a teacher, because we are all teachers in our own way. When I was offered to take part in this artwork for Queen’s I was honoured that I could showcase my culture in such a positive way. Assisting with this particular painting with the Metis theme, assisted me in wanting to also learn more about other people in Canada (Metis) who are classified as “Aboriginal”, and not just First Nations like myself.
Artist #2: Manley Elwood Jones (Kegadonce), age 68
I was born on Neyaahiinigming First Nation. I am Ojibway, and a part of the Otter clan. It is a great privilege to participate and have my artwork displayed at Queen’s University. This opportunity gives me the honour of showing our First Nations culture and heritage through art. I am proud to be a First Nations man and artist.