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Mural Digital print Photograph Indigenous artist

Sipikiskisiw (Remembers Far Back)

Michelle Sound // 2023

Digital powder coated aluminum
Telus Transit Shelter

Sipikiskisiw (Remembers Far Back) features images, documenting Indigenous relation to the land in Amiskwaciwâskahikan, of an Indian Affairs Papaschase reserve survey map from 1899 and a photograph taken before 1907 of Indigenous men and tipis on the grounds of Fort Edmonton. Using embroidery thread, caribou tufting, porcupine quills, and beadwork; the images are ripped and stitched back together again. According to Sound the rips show the colonial violence that Indigenous people have experienced, including residential school intergenerational trauma, loss of language, and displacement from our territories.” The mending of the images doesn’t fully obscure the rips shares Sound, as the loss, grief, longing, and memory cannot be fully mended and the resiliency required to survive colonialism is also messy and fragile. These losses can never be fully healed but we can process our histories and realities through art, culture and stories.” 

Papaschase First Nation signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1877. Under treaty they received reserve land in what is now southeast Edmonton. By 1886, they were removed from the land for settler expansion and it was illegally surrendered. Members were forced to take Métis scrip (signing away their treaty rights for a cash payment) or move to nearby reserves. Sound’s great great kokum, Rosalie/​LaRose Gladu, was a member of Papaschase who took Métis scrip and later settled in the Slave Lake area in Treaty 8. For Sound, her family’s forced displacement and connection to these lands is not just a scrip number in the archives.

Further reading:
EAC guest blog article by Emily Riddle: Michelle Sound’s forthcoming public artwork in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Oct 142022)

Telus Transit Shelter
Telus Transit Shelter 10020 100 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta