Cree Teachings
24″x 26″
Mixed Media on Canvas
2010

Sohkahcahkwewin ᓱᐦᑲᐦᒐᐦᑫᐧᐃᐧᐣ

It means having strength of soul.

I called this Cree Teachings because of the wisdom I have been honoured to receive from many teachers throughout my life. Some of the teachers hurt me, some of them loved me, and sometimes it was both. Here I have made the equivalent of birch bark, and inscribed upon it, painted on it, filled it with all the mysteries I know and then let it go. The four colours can be found on some Medicine Wheels, or not, and it doesn’t matter. I used the colours because they were healing for me, they were true for me. They are also the colours of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which would never have thrived were it not for the assistance they received from the many Indigenous people of Canada who shared their knowledge of how to survive in this country. The Company listened to how to survive, but they didn’t listen to how to live.

My main pursuit in this life is is to learn to live. To learn to set aside pain, to set aside fear. To instead embrace love, to be accepting and remove judgment as much as possible. I can only learn this through my interactions with others. We are each others constant teachers and students. The wisdom of the sky and the wisdom of a tree are no more or less significant than the wisdom of an ant or even the deep knowledge of an electron. By listening, always listening, we learn. Sohkahcahkwewin.

.