Voices at the Table:
Climate change, Critical minerals & First Nations & Indigenous Women in 2022. Our friends in Montreal could meet our team and hear our vision. Lee Arden Lewis and Anne Chabot First Nations, Indigenous advisors presented as well as artist Kirk Brant who created this unique original art work to express a collective vision: Voices at the Table.
Voices at Table, Kirk Brant, 2022
In creating this piece for Voices At the Table I was very mindful of what is most important when approaching the land as a sustainable resource.
For Indigenous People we view the land as our Mother, she nourishes every part of our physical and spiritual lives. When we approach the land for harvesting purposes we have to do so as respectfully as possible to maintain the balance of taking and giving, a balance that has sustained us for as long as we have been on our Mother Earth.
When we speak of the land we not only acknowledge the land itself but we also acknowledge the water, the sky above and all of our fellow creatures that inhabit every corner of our Earth.
In the painting it was important to illustrate the relationship we have with the sky above the land and water. As with any extractive process considerations must be made to maintain the health of all these environments.
Traditional knowledge has always been passed down from our Elders, women have always been our special connection to the Earth itself. As life givers they are symbolic of the relationship we have to the Earth as a Mother to us all.
We see two Elders in conversation relaying the importance of the relationship we have to the land, the sky and the water.
The Moon is illustrated as it is seen as a Grandmother to the Earth and all of us, symbolic of the relationship to life that extends beyond the Earth and into the Sky World from where the First People came.
Above the water we see this symbolically represented by a skydome with a celestial tree that extends into the cosmos. A traditional Haudenosaunee world view.
I see this painting as a conversation about our relationship to our Mother Earth acknowledging the traditional wisdom we learn from our knowledge keepers and Elders.