Saturday afternoon I am listening to Lana Whiskeyjack's artist talk.
Her show, the name of which I cannot pronounce, has just opened at the Bleeding Heart Art Space. She is telling us about these beautiful women she has painted and photographed. She is telling us stories of strength and resilience; power and grace. Then she speaks of language.
In residential schools, her ancestors were told not to speak their mother tongue. They were punished if they spoke it. I've heard of this particular indignity many times lately. How children had their language stolen from them. How children would return to their parents unable to communicate.