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Item Name: Print
Title: Sacred Iniskin Buffalo Stone
Maker: Jane Ash Poitras
Year: 1992
Country: Canadian
Materials: photo lithograph on paper
Measurements: work: 76 cm x 101 cm
ID Number: PC2017.4
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: This work was originally purchased by the RPL in 1993. Jane Ash Poitras' work uses the styles of contemporary art to express the perspectives and experience of Indigenous people in Canada. She uses a vocabulary of layered images, found objects and texts in a self-described “reclamation process,” combining autobiographical elements with traditional Cree symbolism to address issues of acculturation and colonization. This work, Sacred Iniskin Buffalo Stone, draws attention to the significance of the sacred buffalo stone as a medicine object of the Blackfeet, Cheyenne and other Plains Cree. It is a fossilized section from an extinct marine animal called a baculite that is found on the prairie. These stones were used in ritual to call buffalo and are said to make a faint chirp sound, much like a bird, according to Blackfoot legend. Jane Ash Poitras (1951 - ) was born on the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Fort Chipewyan Alberta and grew up in Edmonton. Before turning to a career in the arts, she obtained a B.Sc. in microbiology at the University of Alberta. She later obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from the University of Alberta and a Master's from Columbia University. Poitras has a strong international exhibition history and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alberta Centennial Medal, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Arts and Culture, University of Alberta Alumni Award of Excellence and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta distinguished Artist Award. Her work is included in over 50 prestigious public and private collections. Poitras is a long standing sessional instructor at the University of Alberta and a guest lecturer at various institutions across Canada.