May - December 2019

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Bailey L

Continually
2019 - Mixed media on skateboard
Artwork description: For this skateboard graphic I used the technique of collage and prints around the pictures. In the middle of my board I placed a raven/ crow to symbolize loss. The people are connected by the tree branches coming out of the head to show they are together in this situation. The green buds on the edges of the branches show growth from the Residential School situation. The red, orange and yellow are meant to be a sunset which means a new day or moving forward with the trauma.

I wanted my skateboard to tell a story about loss, growth, and moving forward. I tried to show all these feelings through the symbols and colours. Each colour and symbol has a specific meaning attached to them. The bright colours are to show growth and moving forward. The darker colours are to show loss. The symbols also show loss, but they also represent togetherness.

I want people to learn from my skateboard that we will always remember the people we have lost, but we can move forward together as well.

Keisha H

They Stole our Language
2019 - Mixed media on skateboard
Artwork description: The board is a dark green, representing the chalkboard in the schools with white chalk on it. There is ‘practice’ handwriting on it, spelling out “My name is…” Above the writing is how young aboriginal children would think of what they are trying to write in English, the writing in Cree syllabics. There is also a red line going across the Cree writing which signifies that it was not an allowed language. There are also Aboriginal people on the top, representing the children's parents having to let them go, but wanting to have one last picture of them. The bottom picture is all of the children at residential school, taking a picture with their “teacher”.

The meaning of my piece is explained in the title, “They Stole Our Language.” The colonizers responsible for residential schools wanted us to be like them, to write in their way and learn how to be like them. They either taught English or French, I choose English hand writing because some of my people know English or was taught English and some French. I purposely put the red line through the Cree syllabics because the people that worked for the schools wanted us to learn not to think about our culture in anyway or practice it.

I want people to know how we felt, how the older generation and our ancestors were not allowed to do their job of teaching our languages and allowing those languages to be passed on to the next generations. Our people that went to them lost their language or were shamed to not speak their language and so were not able to teach our generation. Most of us aren’t taught the language by our parents. I don’t know how to speak my language and only know a few numbers and words that I was taught, which is only so little to learn. But I am now proud that there are some elders to pass on the language to us so we can pass it into our kids and grandchildren soon, and move on with teaching and learning our language.

Aliyah P

The Loss of Tradition
2019 - Mixed media on skateboard
Artwork description: For my board I used photo’s that showed the story of Indigenous people in Canada. The skateboard graphic tells the viewer how a family was changed by Residential Schools. The hands are of a mother holding onto her children for a life in traditions and not to lose them to Residential Schools. I didn’t like how it looked at first, but now it has a story. It makes me feel bad and sad for the children who were lost and for the children who were never found. I hope people learn from the piece. Some of the children faded away and others survived and there were parents who were fighting to keep their children away from the Residential Schools and they wanted their traditions to survive.

Shanaiah G

Untitled
2019 - Mixed media on skateboard

Michael Langan

Untitled
2019 - Mixed media on skateboard

Deleelyn H

Untitled
2019 - Mixed media on skateboard

Peter C

Untitled
2019 - Acrylic on skateboard

Karlee K

Untitled
2019 - Mixed media on skateboard