Trying to keep up with the monthly First Friday’s downtown Sarnia, this month, we put together an installation called #IdleKnowMore
The installation was Lead by Dallas Willms (our current intern), and playing off the hashtag #idlenomore in regards to the First Nations protests and unrest. Instead of taking a side, we thought it would be revealing to highlight the large gap between views over the issue and the contradictions in the messages being portrayed. So we projected in our window contrasting quotes and statements that rotated through throughout the evening.
On the other window we displayed this quote.
him carry me
and yet assume myself
and others that I am sorry for him
and wish to lighten his load by
all possible means–except by
getting off his back
(Leo Tolstoy, 1886)
Here were the contrasting quotes.
“Assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country… we are sorry.”
-Stephen Harper, House of Commons, 2008
“We have no history of colonialism”
-Stephen Harper, G20 Summit, 2008
“I was not taken prisoner. I surrendered on purpose. I want to be judged on the merits of my actions… I worked peacefully… we defended ourselves.”
-Louie Riel, High Treason Trial, 1885
“The executions of the Indians ought to convince the Red Man that the White Man governs”
-John A. MacDonald, Prime Minister of Canada, 1885
“A student in Waywayseecappo received about $7,300 in annual funding… while a student at Rossburn Collegiate (5km away) received about $10,500.”
-Andrew Stobo Sniderman, Globe & Mail, 2012
“The Government believes that services should be available on an equitable basis”
-Jean Chretien, The White Paper, 1969
We have been backed into a corner and we are literally fighting for our lives. We are literally dying, in so many preventable and unacceptable ways. I’m not being poetic or hyperbolic here and I don’t just mean culturally. We are dying.
-Chelsea Vowel, Métis from Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta , 2013
“Just put a snow plow on the front of a train and plow right through. Lets quit fooling around. Enough of this garbage.”
Ian Stevenson, Sun News “Top Commentor”, 2013, 67 “Likes”
We need water to live.
-Unidentified Algonquin Grandmother, Parliament Hill Protest, 2013
There’s no question that the native people of yesterday were brutalized, hunted, tortured, and humiliated for decades. But those days are long over.
Anthony Sowan, Cree Man, 2013