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Poitras, Jane Ash
T is for Totem Poles, Teepee
1996

Genocide: the 1994 photograph of a sprawling refugee camp in Rwanda overlaid with visual imagery from North America makes an unambiguous statement that Canada’s efforts to assimilate Indigenous people was a form of genocide. In bringing together these images of Plains ledger drawings, nineteenth-century photographs of “authentic” Indian life, ancient Indigenous petroglyphs and a haunting blackboard that references residential school, Jane Ash Poitras is engaged in an ongoing process of finding personal power through history. As the artist wrote in 1992, “Real power is about finding our own spiritual guidance and helping others find theirs; it is about admitting our own limitations and ignorance so that spiritual power and wisdom can work through us; it is about empowerment and transformation.”

 
Poitras, Jane Ash
Born Fort Chipewyan AB, 1953
T is for Totem Poles, Teepee
1996
mixed media collage, paper
51.0 x 59.8 cm
Purchase, Chancellor Richardson Memorial Fund and with support of the Canada Council's Acquisition Assistance program, 1997
39-017

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Agnes reopened on Tuesday 7 July. Welcome back! Learn more.