A Walk Through Indigenous Memory
By: Nicole Da Costa
A Walk-Through Indigenous Memory: A Student Exhibit is a collaboration between MacEwan’s Indigenous Students Club (MISC) and Nicole Da Costa to showcase the names, cultural backgrounds, and notable histories of Indigenous persons from across Canada. The exhibit was displayed in the Macewan library from April 4th-8th 2022.
Guided by the central research question: “in a setting that is post-repatriation, how do we create exhibits without the use of stolen objects?” Nicole collaborated with the MISC, along with a supervisory team consisting of Dr. Robin Nelson (museum policy analyst), Dr. Cynthia Zutter (anthropologist and archaeologist), and Crystal Pennell (cooordinator of kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre).
Guided by the MISC president’s question “who signed treaty six?”, we sought to acknowledge the fragmented and contested histories of Indigenous peoples in Amiskwaciwaskahikan, Treaty 6, and so-called Canada by highlighting the names of Indigenous peoples and their histories that traditionally have been silenced.
The MISC hand-wrote the names of over 70 Indigenous peoples along with their cultural background, and their notable histories. The histories showcased included the Chiefs who signed Treaty 6, along with roles that the MISC were proud to see held by Indigenous persons, such as lawyers, midwives, activists, veterans and politicians. The exhibit also featured names of those who endured extreme hardship, such as missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIWG) and residential school victims. Indigenous excellence is also present in the exhibit, with influencers, film makers, actors, fashion designers, and musicians included.
Keeping with the tradition of Indigenous oral histories, MISC president Cheyenne Greyeyes sat down and recorded a re-telling of 5 histories featured in the exhibit. These include Papaschase First Nation, Nora Bernard, Nathalie Prambrun, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Jesse Cockney.