The Caribou Hunters: Canadian Indians survive by hunting caribou in Northern Manitoba, 1951, Chippewa, Ojibway, Saulteaux

Robert Houle

Kanata, 1992

“Maybe somehow … I can … say to the viewer, ‘Look, as Native people we are just voyeurs in the history of this country.’ [In "Kanata”] the Indian is in parentheses, the Indian is surrounded by this gigantic red and this gigantic blue and is sandwiched in that environment … And that is reality because the English and the French are still the major players in the making of this history, history as it was. That is what I would like to get across.“ 

-Houle, on his reinterpretation of Benjamin West's The Death of General Wolfe


Smoke Signals (1998)

owl pendant, Kelvin Thompson (Ojibwe, Saulteaux)

Kelvin has been adopted into the Haisla nation. He carves jewellery in silver and gold, but also creates bowls and masks from alder, maple and cedar. In 1979, he studied under and worked with Barry and Derek Wilson at the Vancouver Indian Centre, and in 1980 carved a totem pole with Henry Robinson for the Indian Centre. From oxidizing to intricate cut-out work, Kelvin is always experimenting and trying new things with his jewellery. In addition, he has taught many artists how to carve in silver and gold, and he is passionate about passing skills and information on to younger carvers. From September, 2007 to February, 2008 Kelvin aided Kwakwaka’wakw/Haida artist Dan Wallace in teaching the first annual Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts Program, which was held at Vancouver’s Native Education College.


Alex Janvier

Blood Tears, 2001


From the Aboriginal Healing Foundation:

Painted on the artist’s 66th birthday, Blood Tears is both a statement of Mr. Janvier’s sense of loss and a celebration of his resilience, made all the more powerful with the inclusion of a lengthy inscription painted in his own hand on the rear of the canvas. The inscription details a series of losses attributed to the ten years he spent at the Blue Quills Indian Residential School: loss of childhood, language, culture, customs, parents, grandparents, and traditional beliefs. He was taken off the land he loved and severely punished for speaking his language— Denesu’liné. Being a little boy did not matter and “many, many died of broken bodies” and “broken spirit.”