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Arts & Récits Autochtones - Finally...."Civilized"!


2014 - Lauréat d’art

Brandan Wilson

Copper Cliff, ON
M'Chigeeng First Nation
Âge 16

Une note d'auteur

I have chosen "civilization" and "assimilation" as my focus for this piece. I was inspired to do this topic by the horrors of Residential and Day schools. I wanted to portray the "civilization" of Aboriginal children as a 1950's print ad. It shows the before and after of a now "civilized" child and how wonderful it is. In the 1950's, ads represented home life and family values with bright bold colours and eye catching pictures. But they also represented a dark time of prejudice, sexism, stereotypes and material objects. I wanted the child to represent all these things. In the "after" picture I wanted to convey the horror of residential schools, all you see is a hand resting on the child's shoulder, and he sits while the child stands, this is to show power over the child.
The picture at the bottom of the woman, represents the general population of Canadians, totally oblivious to what was happening in their own country to the Aboriginal culture but yet supporting it. She is holding a Bible and a Queen figure, these two icons represent religion and the government. The quote from Nicholas Flood Daven is important as it is emphasizing how it was the children that were the focus of assimilation.

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