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Item Name: Mixed Media
Title: Summer Snow Tribal Relocation Program
Maker: Edward Poitras
Year: 1991
Country: Canadian
Materials: silk-screened text
Measurements: four panels each 77.0 x 78.0 cm (wide)
ID Number: PC93.5
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: As the title of this work, “Summer Snow Tribal Relocation Program” suggests, this artwork references colonial policies in Canada and the United States, which encouraged the assimilation and erasure of Indigenous peoples. When installed, these silkscreens consist of white text on a white wall, alphabetically listing the names of North American Indigenous nations. In Canada, the historical relationship between settler governments and First Nations has included many initiatives such as residential schools, which dismantled Indigenous kinship systems, languages, cultural practices and identity. This artwork was originally presented in the fall of 1991 at Dunlop Art Gallery, Central Branch as part of an installation by Edward Poitras. “Marginal Recession” explored themes of local history, treaties, the effects of colonialism, and life in urban spaces and on the reserve. Edward Poitras (1953 – ) Born in Regina, Edward Poitras is Métis and a member of the Gordon First Nation, currently residing in Treaty Four Territory. As a young artist, Poitras studied with Sarain Stump at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College in Saskatoon (1974), and with Mexican Aboriginal artist Domingo Cisneros at Manitou College, Québec (1975-1976). A recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, Poitras has exhibited internationally, notably representing Canada in 1995 at the Venice Biennale. His work is held in numerous public, private and corporate collections across Canada, including the MacKenzie Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery, and the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.