Resilience
  • Biskaabiiyang – returning to ourselves – 2017
  • Coloured glass seed beads on turquoise-coloured cloth
  • 38.1 x 76.2 cm
Biskaabiiyang – returning to ourselves

Indigenous constructs of resilience are grounded in both individual and community actions, often expressed within a contemporary revival of intellectual and artistic explorations. A metaphor-based narrative emerges, drawing upon concepts of Indigenous worldviews, as expressed in the phrase “all my relations,” meaning everything is related, all creation is in relation and all creation is imbued with spirit. 

In my artwork, bright orange and brilliant red glass seed beads are hand-beaded onto turquoise-coloured cotton cloth to spell out the word Biskaabiiyang – returning to ourselves.

Trade items such as glass beads were introduced by early Newcomers and adapted by Indigenous peoples in their material culture. My choice of these beads speaks to the Indigenous legacy of adaptability and resilience. The sewing aspect of this artwork reflects the concept described by Nishnaabeg scholar Leanne Simpson as “stitching our cultures and communities and life ways back together.” (Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Dancing on Turtles Back, Arbeiter Ring Publishing: Winnipeg, 2011, p. 51)

– Rebecca Gloria-Jean Baird

billboard locations

Treaty:

Please note that not all digital billboards will be displaying Resilience consistently. Treaty, territory, and language information has been referenced from Native Land, and may be incomplete.