Canada Day Graphic, Design Description

Growing up in East Vancouver I was taught formline by Coast Salish Elders like Melany Gleason Lyall Point. Later in life I learned my Dakelh peoples style of formline. So my artistic practice is a blend of northern and southern formline styles. That being said, I used southern style trigons for this design to symbolize Canada going from coast to coast to coast. But not only Canada, Indigenous peoples. Like the trigons, we have had these land based practices and histories on every corner of this country and continent. Just as Canada goes from coast to coast to coast, so does Indigenous culture, history, and people. I know that the city of New Westminster is situated on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples. So I wanted to honour them and their care of these lands and waters with the use of contemporary southern style eyes and trigons. As we honour the styles and cultures of Indigenous peoples we also honour those who have gone before. We honour all those who perished in the residential schools. Children who perished being told that their culture, languages, and art forms were wrong and less than. By honouring Indigenous art, especially on Canada day and on the Canadian flag, it is a step in righting the wrongs committed against Indigenous children. So that no other Indigenous child, or child of any culture or identity will ever believe that Indigenous culture and traditional ways are less than.

 

Artist Statement, Randall Bear Barnetson

Randall Bear Barnetson is a multidisciplinary artist of Indigenous heritage. Randall Bear Barnetson is from the village of Nadleh Whut’en, the Dakelh nation, and of the Duntem’yoo Bear clan. Bear’s artistic practice interprets matters of modernity such as mental health and wellbeing, identity, culture, and spirituality, through the framework of Northwest Coast Indigenous art forms. Bear’s art and traditional storytelling has aided in reconciliation and decolonization efforts with settler organizations in discussing Indigenous culture and heritage. Bear was born and raised in the urban Indigenous community of Commercial drive in Vancouver BC. Bear spent years serving alongside his parents who founded a thriving mission on the 100 block of Hastings that provided essential services to over two million members of the Downtown Eastside Community. Bear’s practice is currently based on the Unceded Territories of the Musqueam Coast Salish peoples as a guest. On this territory is Vancouver’s YVR international airport, from which Bear received the Emerging Indigenous Artist Scholarship award in 2022. Bear is enrolled in his Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Bear has completed the Foundation Program thus far.