They Tried To Keep Our Eyes Closed
Regalia was ordered to be stacked into piles, piles that were ignited and committed to fire, as were the sacred pipes and bundles, desecrated – destroyed.
Forbidden, STOPPED in order to degrade our sacred ways and knowledge/teachings, in order to correct our pagan, savage minds. Names unknown to the ancestors brought by the colonizers, Indian Agents and government bureaucrats.
Belittlement, abuse, starvation was put upon my Plains Cree ancestors. Discontinuing the continuum of time and connectedness to our Sacred Mother Earth. They knew everything that they needed to know to live harmoniously with our Sacred Mother! Each season was regarded with ceremony and honour.
Only to be pricked with the pen of the white mans orders, control and confinement. Reserves were created which were like prisons, guarded by the RCMP and Indian Agents. The buffalo were mass murdered to starve us to submission in order to make us comply, to cave, to cave to their ways. Little by little our blood memory was eroded, reshaped.
To those who survived the reserve system, residential schools, the sixties scoop and genocide dysfunction carry on, shadows of what our ancestors were. Reclaiming what was our ways. Fragments, pieces have survived.
I thank those who knew to hide their teachings and went underground and when the bans were lifted and the time was right, brought back their knowledge and teachings, as we continue to shape the world and our connection to Mother Earth and the Star Nations.
“In my work, I am committed to righting the wrongs that First Nations peoples have endured by creating art that focuses on cultural, social and political injustices. As an artist, educator and cultural worker, my goal is a better world. It is my job to show the pride, strength and beauty of First Nations people and cultures, and contribute to the betterment of mankind.”
George Littlechild is a Visual art, performance artist with a strong international reputation. Born in Edmonton, Littlechild is Plains Cree and has lived on the K’òmoks Nation for over 20 years.
Since graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1988, George has shown work in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. He has received many awards and honours which include most recently an Honourary Doctorate of Letters 2013, Fraser Valley University and the 2017 Reveal Indigenous award, The Hnatyshn Foundation.