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Passage by Dr. Mary Longman


Passage (2021)
32 x 64”
Digital animation
Commission of National Arts Center

Project Description

Commission for the National Arts Centre (NAC) for the virtual exhibition, Indigenous Cities.

Indigenous Cities presents memories from Indigenous community members based in cities across Canada; memories that have been interpreted by Indigenous artists to create a unique audio storytelling experience. We invite you to explore our virtual maps, watch video of the locations where each of these real stories takes place, and listen to these meaningful audio stories and songs. This year’s stories are based in the cities known as Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Ottawa. This year is just the beginning, as Indigenous Cities will continue to feature stories from across the country in future seasons.

Description of Passage

Saskatchewan is the traditional territories of the Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, Metis and Sioux-Dakota, Nakota. The rivers of Fort Qu’Appelle and Saskatchewan have been significant passages for travel, trade and cultural exchange for Indigenous people.

Today, the cultural exchange, immersion and blended families continues. In central Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon area is home to approximately 300,000 Indigenous and Metis people. Indigenous and Metis people make up 16% of the population in Saskatchewan and is the second largest ethnic group, with Germans being the majority.

The work, Passages, honors several thousands of years of history of Indigenous traditional lands and cultural exchange, long before the dark legacy of the relatively recent forced colonial treaties and oppression.

To honor the history of Indigenous land, I call to the collective to decolonize semantics, delete colonial terms such as treaties, return to the words of traditional territories, to remind others and our selves, of who we are and where we come from.