Art and Neutralizing the Indian Act at NMAI

I was amazed last Friday to encounter this exhibit by Algonquin artist Nadia Myre at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Between 1999 and 2002 Nadia enlisted 230 friends and colleagues to help her bead over the words of the Indian Act – the diabolical legislated colonization of Canadian Indians which began in 1876 and continued until the 1980s. Under this act, my mother sold our Indian rights in 1970 – we are Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. On 56 panels Nadia and friends used white beads to obscure the words of the act and red to fill in the empty space. Her intent was to neutralize the text.  If anyone has any questions about whether art is effective at healing trauma – just ask me.  Powerful.

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Filed under The Indian Thing: History. Identity. Family.

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