I took a very tongue in cheek approach to my work this year. As a First nation person living off reserve, I encounter many stereotypes of Natives. I wanted to explore this idea of what people think of Native people now, especially after the Idle No More movement. Also how 500 years of “civilization” has affected us.
My model is my 7 year old brother Phoenix. I made an outfit for him based on the stereotypical Hollywood version of a Native person. I made everything he is wearing. We went around our city of Sudbury and I took photos of him in non-traditional places, no rivers, no lakes, no Mother Nature. Just him in and around the city, in places like the grocery store, back of a police car, soup kitchen, church, rectory, and school. These places have had a direct impact on our Native culture.
There are 2 larger photos, of Phoenix holding his status card. No other culture in Canada is identified by the Canadian government by ID cards. I wanted to show that my brother, myself, my family, my culture is more than just a card and civilization wasn’t civilized.