This painting of proud Indigenous people with grandfathers cradled in their hands symbolizes the wisdom that the Aboriginal way of life has to offer. The women who holds an illumination of life depicts the spiritual connection that women have with the creator and their ability to bring forth life. The group stands in unity and offer freely their power and wisdom but are tragically turned to stone as a result of years of oppression. These stone beings represent the physical manifestation of years of objectification. There is still hope for the future; not all has been lost. The illumination of life still burns brightly and represents one last chance to rekindle the indigenous spirit and all it has to offer, harmony, love, balance and understanding; An understanding that incorporates all nations and breeds truth and respect for children of the earth, A love that knows forgiveness and compassion and balance that allows us all to heal and learn from our mistakes and grow together, side by side in harmony.
The painting is meant to expose the silence that was forced upon a rich culture and reveal the collective, kind, strong, respectful and understanding nature of an indigenous population under the sharp blade of society. The interpretation of this painting is unique to all individuals, however there is one thing that should be kept in mind while exploring the depths of this piece; history may be set in stone, but the future is not!
Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
Wasauksing First Nation