WTA 2018 – (un)Settle
What does it mean to be “Canadian”? The answer is not the same for everyone. By design this simple question is actually very difficult to answer so as to perpetuate a collective amnesia of the history of Canada. As Settler people’s, we often attempt to answer this question without reconciling our relationship with the land, the systems of governance and the stories of how our nation is built. As Indigenous peoples, the answer to this question reflects a dark and troubled past for Canada. This exhibition documents the student and teacher discovery and unpacking of the narrative of Canada as a nation that has engaged and continues to engage in a process of settler colonialism.
(un)Settle brings together the views and learning of students and teachers with various histories as to how they have come to live here in Canada, including the histories of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, as well as those with a long standing history of being a Settler, and those Settlers that are more recent participants in Canada through immigration or seeking asylum from war or persecution. This exhibition brings together all voices in order to unsettle the Settler status quo, and to actively bring awareness of the need to honour the Kaswentha, an original covenant for how Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are to live here together, on Turtle Island.
It takes a mosaic of voices to unsettle. It takes the voices of Indigenous peoples and Settler Peoples together, to interrupt and quiet the cacophonous paradigm of comfort that Settler peoples enjoy. This exhibition documents the collaborative learning of our collective history, an examination of the contemporary relationship between Indigenous and Settler peoples, but most importantly how the settler colonialism has shaped, and continues to shape our individual identities.