Red cotton & Tobacco

Kraft Cheese Slices, Metal Wire, Styrofoam, Single Serving Salteen Crackers, Costume Officer Hat

Commissioned by LabSpace Studio for Sculpting New Reads, as a response to Tanya Talaga’s non-fiction book Seven Fallen Feathers. I was hurt and appalled while reading 7 Fallen Feathers. I couldn’t put the book down. The writing was arresting and honest, but it was also a documentation and telling of a sick reality: the Canadian child welfare system is dislocating Indigenous kids to a system that is killing them. Indigenous families are falsely persuaded by a subjective opinion of higher education and a better life. Residential schools may have been shut down and their buildings stand only as monuments of history, but the legacy of genocide and assimilation is still a living memorial. These are monuments I have: the disposable, unhealthy reflection of systemic power and authority figures. I also place down tobacco in prayer, survival and love for the people.