"In The Canadian Snow" is a research-driven artistic expression about the effects of Residential Schools and Japanese-Canadian Internment. This project uses ten 48x48-inch panels to illustrate how the violence of these events traumatized children and how these communities remained resilient despite the violence perpetrated against them.
The panels begin in black and white as the viewer is asked to imagine the unbearable cold and pain that the children were subjected to at the hands of the Government of Canada. Indigenous children ran from the schools, barefoot in the snow, back to their families, often not surviving the journey. Japanese-Canadian children were forced to spend winters in small unheated shacks with their families, imprisoned in a place they considered home. As we move through the growth of each animal - a bison to represent Indigenous children and a crane to represent Japanese-Canadian children - colour begins to enter the frames. This represents the fact that Canada was unable to crush their spirits; they have grown and thrived against Canada's best efforts to erase and '"repatriate" these communities.
We must carry these memories forward so that these events never happen again.
Special thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts
Creating, Knowing and Sharing: the Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples Program