Mother Carry Me

Think Indigenous Conference, Nutana Collegiate, 2017

ABOVE: Mother Carry Me, Communal Made Mural, Students of Nutana Collegiate, 2017

 

I remember being asked, “Why you?” by Carmen Milenkovic, a friend and colleague from the Saskatchewan Craft Council, when I was invited to join the Nutana Collegiate Community on this project. This question was valid as there were many discussions at that time about cultural appropriation within Indigenous culture. I shared with her the advice my teacher once gave me: to go where I was invited, as I must have something to offer.

I was invited as an Artist in Residence at Nutana Collegiate in Saskatoon, SK, where I was tasked to create a collaborative mural with the students. The mural was to be presented at the Think Indigenous Conference in Saskatoon on March 20th, 2017. During this project, a colleague advised me not to speak in a certain way as it could give the impression that we did not know what we were doing. However, I believed that it was important for the students to know that we didn’t have all the answers and that they may have the solutions.

In the opening ceremony, Donnie Speidel, cultural liaison with Saskatoon public school board, led the school community in offering a prayer that emphasized the transformative framework offered by the creative process of reconciliation. Together, we created a mural titled “Mother Carry Me”. It depicted a turtle carrying a smaller turtle on her back, representing the healing that we experienced and perceived during this project. This experience led me to appreciate the potential of engaging and educating people outside of the current school system.

I am very grateful to have taken part in this learning.

 

I chose the turtle because I could relate to it as my Mother’s favourite animal. The image depicts a Mother turtle carrying her baby on her back. The baby is carrying an image of the earth, highlighting the position and province of Saskatchewan. 

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