Mural: Statement from the Artists
The Future has Arrived / Aatl’aan K’atgwaa tluu. k_aatlaagang
by Nelson Garcia and Derek Edenshaw
This project touches on celebrating the very essence of what makes Indigenous identity paramount to the protection of BC Lands and Water. Being Indigenous is paying homage to all living things which make life on Mother Earth possible. Cultures from Haida Gwaii to Patagonia all shared these same Indigenous principles. These ways of life were attacked by various churches and states for the last 500 plus years, which led to the NEAR termination of the core values which make us Indigenous.
This work takes inspiration from the late Haida Master Bill Reid’s famed “Jade Canoe” in which the late artist intentionally showed fighting amongst the passengers, as a metaphor for Native politics of the day. Over 20 years later we want to show that, like our art, our peoples are returning to the ways of old, all while adapting to the ways of new. Unlike the Jade Canoe, these passengers are in sync and working with few to no problems.
We wanted to touch on the diversity of the artists by including regalia of Southern natives. This is also represented by the art on the side of the canoes. On one is an eagle, on the other, it is a condor done in Haida form line style. This is based on a prophecy from the Amazon predating the bible, which speaks of a reunification of once-united Indigenous peoples of what is now called North and South America. When they split one group followed the Eagle and the other group followed the Condor. It is believed that the two groups will come together at an important time of change which is critical to the Earth. It is no doubt that the Earth is in a volatile state, and as usual, humans have an important role.
We believe in instilling Indigenous values in our lives, most importantly the simple fact that we are not greater than the Earth. This is the future, represented in the Canoes, led by highly respected Women which is another core Indigenous value, and it is here.