The Indian

So I decided to start some new paintings. Except this time I am doing things that I have never done for either a long time or something that I am not entirely comfortable with: mixed media/collage.

I found a copy of the Indian Act in my room after cleaning one day and I read over it. I decided to keep it because I figured I could use it. I wasn’t sure what I was going to use the Indian Act for or how but I knew I was going to use it. Yesterday I bought 3 new canvases and I finished the first one, which I call “The Indian.”

Yes, that’s the PM Harper’s face in the left hand corner and the rest of the “Indians” well, those are the guys from the hit group from Ireland called “The Indians.” During the summer I kept seeing all over facebook and twitter that the facebook group for “The Indians” should be banned because it was racist/offensive. I am not sure how that panned out. Anyways, I used part of the “Indian Act” here just the first section of it aka “definitions.”

Then I also added in other definitions. Those other words include:

  • Indian
  • Indigenous
  • Inmate
  • Indict

I choose those other words because of the following: Aboriginals now account for 18.5 per cent of federal inmates, but only 2.7 per cent of the Canadian population.

The article was written in 2006 but not much has changed. In fact, there was the “Truth in Sentencing Act” that was thought to believe to further harm and not help rates of Aboriginal people in prison. Also, the Canadian government has been looking at raising the fee to obtain a pardon. I wrote about that here. I also choose those words because there has been many different sections that have been since removed from The Indian Act that criminalized “Indians.” I used the picture of Harper and the “music group” because they are wearing traditional headdresses that are usually only worn by First Nations chiefs. Even though Harper received his from another First Nation chief, the “music group” did not. The 2 wear the traditional headdresses without really knowing what it means to be “Indian.” Not that being in prison is what it means to be Indian but the rate of Aboriginals in prison is not what it should be. The only way to help those rates is to gain a better understanding of why and developing better ways to help those who need it most.