Installation, Ribbon Campaign & Publication
November 8 to December 6, 2014
Opening Reception: November 22, 8pm | in conjunction with the Transformation & Testimony joint opening as well as a reception for the Stronger Than Stone symposium
Continuing with Longman’s summer billboard of the same title, Warrior Woman: Stop the Silence will be installed in AKA’s new project space. The installation will be accompanied by a ribbon campaign and publication, new elements of the project developed by Longman honouring and memorializing Indigenous men, women and children through her international call to action.
Stronger Than Stone: (Re)Inventing the Indigenous Monument
Calgary, Friday, November 21 & Saturday, November 22, ACAD
Sunday, November 23 & Monday, November 24, Wanuskewin Heritage Park
This symposium brings together world-renowned Indigenous and non-Indigenous speakers to deliver presentations and performances, and to engage in conversations that will constitute an original public dialogue about land, language and the creation of public sites of memory.
Ongoing Reading Lists by Leah Bruce, Fine Arts Coordinator, Francis Morrison Central Library are created to accompany each exhibition. The November list explores storytelling, activism and protest in art and can be found here.
In memory of the millions of Indigenous people who lost their lives from Indigenous Genocide (1492 – 1888). By artist, Mary V. Longman, July 15 –September 15, 2014. Billboard Site: AKA Gallery, 424 20 St W, Saskatoon
Warrior Woman project description
The concept of Warrior Woman began as a memorial for my late mother, Lorraine Longman, (Mar. 29, 1949 – Dec. 24, 2012). It evolved into a larger theme of Indigenous Genocide in North America. Lorraine’s legacy was the earned title of, “the toughest chick in the hood.” Having survived regular beatings in residential school, that culminated in a severe head injury at the age of 8, she was left with a life-long disability of grand mal epilepsy and premature dementia and could no longer attend school or work in her adulthood.
Young, attractive and poverty stricken, Lorraine was vulnerable to the violence and crime in the hood, so Lorraine’s uncles taught her how to fight to survive. Starting at age 15, she had 7 children in a row and all of them were apprehended by social services. Later, Lorraine became parentless at the age of 21, when her pregnant mother, Emma, was killed by a drunk driver in Regina, and her grandmother was severely injured, spending six months in the hospital. The driver was only given 6 months in jail. Despite her painful youth and hard life, Lorraine’s story is one of courage, resilience and survival and is symbolic of the Indigenous struggle in the aftermath of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop. (Social Service apprehensions of Aboriginal children.)
In the billboard, Lorraine’s image and legacy is transformed into Warrior Woman, the Indigenized version of the Americanized Wonder Woman. Her fight now becomes one of justice and transparency of Indigenous Genocide in North America (1492-1888). She becomes the voice for the millions of Indigenous people who were slain by Spanish, British, American colonial armies and settlers who were driven to inhumane acts by their greed of acquiring gold, land and scalping payments.
Warrior woman shouts out, “Stop the Silence!” as the North American ‘holocaust’ remains submerged and absent from educational history texts and government discourse. There has not been government acknowledgement, an apology or any memorials. She calls to action a national and international campaign for Indigenous Genocide by raising the tightly clutched red and white campaign ribbon, in the hope to raise awareness and bring justice to all those that perished.
Overall, this work serves as a long-overdue memorial to all the Indigenous men, women and children who unnecessarily died only because the color of their skin. Their spirits will be honored and not forgotten.
HISTORICAL FACTS: Indigenous Genocide (1492-1888)
Within the first forty years of Colonial contact, (1492 -1532) fifteen million Aboriginals were slaughtered. In the 393 years of open war against Indigenous people, from 1492 to 1888, this rate of genocide would have culminated to a staggering 150 million.
Ethnic cleansing strategies included: annihilation of entire villages; Spanish slavery and torture for gold mining; Scalping Proclamations sanctioned by the British and Spanish Governments; germ warfare with small pox infected blankets, sanctioned by British and American governments and; Canadian forced famine strategies that starved Indigenous people into the submission of signing treaties
Slavery, Torture and Mass Murders: 1492-1532
In the book, Devastation of the Indies (1552), Spanish Dominican priest, Bartolomé de las Casas, (1484–1566) published his forty-year eye witness account of the genocide of Indigenous genocide in the Indies. De las Casas estimated that fifteen million Aboriginals were slaughtered in this time frame by Spanish Conquistadors in the most inhumane methods imaginable. Aboriginals were used as slaves to mine gold and were tortured by dismemberment of limbs or burned alive
Government Sanctioned Scalping Proclamations: 1744-1880s
Scalping Proclamations sanctioned by British and Spanish governments, offered payments to any person who presented Aboriginal scalps. Key people who ordered Scalping Proclamations include: 1744, Massachusetts Governor William Shirley, 1756 Governor Robert Hunter Morris and Governor Charles Lawrence. 1835 and the 1880s, Spanish authorities of Mexico.
Genocide and Stolen Lands – Manifest Destiny Political Propaganda: 1812-1870s
The political rhetoric of the 1800s, Manifest destiny, centered on open land expansion for settlers and Indian removal at all costs. The imperialist justification was based on the ideology that it was ‘the obvious fate’ ‘the will of god,’ that this new land belong to Europeans
This propaganda was sanctioned and physically enforced by the government and the courts. Key supporters of forced removal and genocide of Indigenous peoples were: John Marshall (1755 – 1835), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Andrew Jackson (1767 – 1845), President of USA, John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848), President of USA, and Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), President of USA.
Germ Warfare: 1763-1837
In Canada, by the orders of Lord Jeffrey Amherst of the British Army in 1763, infected smallpox blankets were sent to Aboriginal settlements in order to bring about “… the total extirpation of those Indian Nations (Amherst In Hume, 2001, p. A21). Also see biological and chemical weapons expert, Jonathan B. Tucker’s book, Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox.
In the United States, Indigenous people were exposed to infected blankets and coats, and then loaded into infected boats. To ensure high numbers died, the War Department reinforced the policy to refuse vaccination for Indigenous people. See also Barbara Alice Mann’s, The Tainted Gift: The Disease Method of Frontier Expansion (2009).
Forced Famine & Treaties 1867-1888)
The first Prime Minister of Canada and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, from the periods between 1867 -1888, John A. McDonald (1851-1891), had two primary areas of focus; to attain as much land as possible for the British Crown and to move “[t]owards the extinguishment of the Indian Title to the lands.”
This period was the darkest, most tumultuous era in Canadian history, with Aboriginals being forced off of their traditional lands, their ceremonial gatherings and travel were banned, and the people were forced into submission through the strategy of famine, by destroying their main food source, the bison, and letting them starve on meagre food rations. Those that were resistant were imprisoned or hanged.