Resilience

Vanessa Dion Fletcher

Potawatomi/Lenape

  • Relationship or Transaction – 2014
  • $5 Canadian notes, screen prints, jute twine
  • 97.5 x 390 x 2.5 cm
Relationship or Transaction

For thousands of years, Indigenous people along the Atlantic Coast and in the Great Lakes regions made wampum beads out of whelk and quahog shells. The beads were woven into belts as mnemonic devices recording treaties, historical events and personal social transactions. In 1764, Sir William Johnson gave the Western Great Lakes Covenant Chain Confederacy Wampum Belt to the representatives of the 24 First Nations who attended the signing of the Treaty of Niagara. In my reproduction of this belt, I used $5 bills as the quahog (purple) beads and replica $5 bills as the whelk (white) beads. I used Canadian currency as a weighted symbol of the power of the nation-state, encouraging the viewer to consider the colonial dimensions of Canadian society and, in particular, the role of money in bypassing and dissolving nation-to-nation treaty relationships.

– Vanessa Dion Fletcher

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.