a center for evolving aboriginal media, visual and performing arts

Mary Anne Barkhouse, Boreal Baroque

In Mary Anne Barkhouses Boreal Baroque, the works setting is inspired by the palatial grounds at Versailles where the wild is juxtaposed with the wildly opulent.

Boreal Baroque is a touring exhibition featuring the work of nationally acclaimed artist Mary Anne Barkhouse. The exhibition incorporates exquisite carvings of all kinds of Boreal animals, including the rabbit, owl, coyote, and beaver, and juxtaposes them against elegant, hand-made Baroque-style furniture. It is a playful yet haunting display of Barkhouse’s belief in the persistent power of nature and animals in our daily lives and consciousness.

The exhibition conjures wild animals’ survival, adaptation, and evolution into the 9th, 20th, and 21st centuries, mixing what the artist calls “the wild” with “the wildly opulent.” Curator Linda Jansma describes Boreal Baroque as optimistic “despite the grim news of the world’s imminent demise,” as the animals have “evicted humans from their ‘habitat’ and converse on the chaise longue and confidante sofas of a Louis XIV setting.” Indeed, the exhibition asks that we see the inhabitants of the Boreal Forest not as resources for our own use, but as animals “assured of their rightful place in the palace.”





Boreal Baroque is organized and circulated by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, and curated by Linda Jansma. The exhibition’s presentation at the Mendel Art Gallery is its only stop in Western Canada.

Barkhouse belongs to the Nimpkish band, Kwakiuti First Nations and currently lives in the Haliburton Highlands.  Her sculptural work examines environmental concerns and indigenous culture through the use of animal imagery.  Wolves, ravens, moose and beaver are juxtaposed against a diversity of background situations.  Mary Anne was present for this opening and gave a public lecture.



Tanya Lukin-Linklater, aiya!3

murmur, Tanya Lukin Linklater; photo credit J Proctor and Marc Chalifoux

Tanya Lukin Linklater originates from the Native Villages of Port Lions and Afognak in the Kodiak archipelago of southwestern Alaska.  Based in Northern Ontario, she is a practicing performance artist, choreographer and writer. In 2010 she performed a site specific work at Mapping Resistances curated by Wanda Nanibush in response to the 20th anniversary of the Oka resistance; she also performed on frozen Lake Nipissing, in a train container, and railway station, and presented a new work at the 6th Annual Aboriginal Choreographers Workshop. Her performances in Canada and U.S. occur in reflecting pools, university campuses, Native villages, galleries and festivals. Tanya’s artistic practice centers often on memory and she experiments with the relationship between the body, sound, song and narrative.  In September, she presented a new experimental work “aiya!” for Native Women in the Arts’ Catalyst Café curated by Wanda Nanabush.  “aiya!” is a sound performance utilizing deconstructed Alutiiq language, experimental song and guttural sounds.

Tanya studied at Stanford University (BA Honors) where she was awarded the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Louis Sudler Prize in the Creative and Performing Arts. In 2010 she was awarded the Chalmers Professional Development Grant by Ontario Arts Council. Her additional training includes dance at the Banff Centre of the Arts, Mile Zero Dance (Edmonton) and the centre for Indigenous Theatre (Toronto).  She received her masters in Education in 2004 from the University of Alberta.

Emergence Evolution

Leanne LHirondelle

In 1998 Tribe put out a call for submissions for emerging artists who work in media, visual and performing art.  A selection committee met in August 1998 to select the work.  There were six artists chosen from across Canada: three Saskatchewan based (Lita Fontaine, Leanne LHirondelle and Chelli Nighttraveller), on B.C. based (Michelle McGough), Nova Scotia based (Michelle Sillyboy) and on Ontario based (Tracy Anthony).

Native Love

Native Love, 1998

Shelley Niro

Ryan Rice

Mixed Bag

Mixed Bag. 1997

Jennifer Brass, Mixed Bag

Kathleen Wasacase

C. Maxx Stevens, Unveiling

C. Maxx Stevens, Unveiling. 2003

C. Maxx Stevens

The current issues in the Native community is what inspires Stevens to produce the work she creates.  She uses installations as a vehicle to tell her stories in the sense of being a contemporary visual storyteller.  She feels her works speaks of the importance of cultural values as well as being an artist in the contemporary art community.  Using common objects to communicate home, education, traditions and modern life as any person living in todays society yet with a twist of irony that one would view from the Native people perceptions and relationship with the world around them.  Traditionally the storyteller tells stories that touches the listener as well as educating them, she see her installations as being part of that tradition.


She has exhibited in the Boise Art Museum, the Smithsonian Museum and the Hood Museum at Dartmouth University.  Her work has also been included in the group exhibition Reservation X which was curated by Gerald McMasters.

Stevens is a member of the Seminole Nations who was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma and grew up in Wichita Kansas.  She attended Haskell Indian Junior College, Wichita State University and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University in 1987.  Her work encompasses both sculpture and installation.


Shelley Niro, Taste of Heaven


Shelley Niro, Taste of Heaven. 1999

Taste of Heaven,  a solo exhibition by artist Shelley Niro.  Integral to the exhibition was visual memory landscape as symbol.  Particularly cogent to aboriginal peoples in a contemporary context, visual memory landscape is an important touchstone vital to the healing process.  It is through our ability to confront and acknowledge grievances, suffering, achievements, successes and contributions that we are able to advance both our individual and collective healing.  For more than 500 years, aboriginal peoples have been relegated to the margins of mainstream society, manipulated and packaged into a Fourth world concept and made to feel displaced in our own homeland.  Although many aboriginal peoples are still trapped in a state of denial, with poverty playing a significant role maintaining this mind-set, many others like Niro, are negotiating a way out of the grieving cycle.

Robert Houle, Palisade

Robert Houle, Palisade. 1999

Co-presented with AKA Gallery, this was the first solo exhibition in Saskatchewan for this senior First Nations artist.  Originally from Manitoba, now based in Toronto,  Houle created new work for the exhibition, dealing with the spread of small pox among native people as a form of planned genocide.  The exhibition also included a digitally produced image mounted on a billboard across from the gallery.  In addition to Saskatoon, the billboard was presented in Prince Albert and Estevan through collaboration with the Estevan National Exhibition Centre and The Little Gallery.

Michael Belmore, Fly By Wire

Michael Belmore, Fly By Wire. 2001

As with many things from the past, our ability to decipher and understand their true meaning have either been lost or confused along the way. Western society has fostered many advances over the previous centuries which eventually lead us to our current reality. We live in a society that is increasingly defined by a simple language of 1s and 0s. A language that is not readily understood by the mass of individuals who use technology. Todays environment has at times left us disjointed and removed from ourselves. It is this distance from things that have relevance to our lives that is being addressed in this exhibition. Michael Belmore graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1994. His work, which utilizes diverse materials including acrylic, metal, wood, photography and text has been exhibited nationally since 1988. Belmore is of Ojibway heritage and currently lives near Minden in the Haliburton Heighlands.

Jin-me Yoon, UNBIDDEN

Jin-me Yoon, UNBIDDEN. 2006

This exhibition consists of a major new installation by artist Jin-me Yoon, Associate Professor of Visual Art at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and marks the first solo tour of her work.  Thematically consistent with her previous productions that explore the relationship between memory, identity and place, the installation uses staged video performances and photographs to examine the displacement of peoples both temporarily and spatially,  through wars and exile.  Unbidden refers to images and memories of uncertain origin that involuntarily surface to consciousness.  Yoon presents the viewer with scenarios that are both strange and familiar; it is uncertain if the actions that occur allude to real events, or whether they derive from television productions, Hollywood movies or archival images.

Co-Sponsored by TRIBE
& the UofS Department of Art and Art History

Mary Anne Barkhouse, Some Like it Shot

Mary Anne Barkhouse, Some Like it Shot. 2000.

Co-presented by AKA, this is the first Saskatchewan exhibition by First Nations artist Mary Anne Barkhouse.  Animals, usually wild, are frequent images in Barkhouses multimedia works.  Bo observing animals in their natural,  sometimes controlled environments, she reveals the adverse effect human behavior has had on our physical and social world.  Her new work will further explore from a personal perspective, the diversity of influences and pressures that are exerted upon aboriginal individuals and subsequent social and political choices that we must make at this point in time.  A descendant of a long line of artists from the Nimpkish band, Kwagiutl Nation of Alert Bay, Barkhouse is now based in Ontario.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, An Indian Shooting the Indian Act.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, An Indian Shooting the Indian Act. 1999

An Indian Shooting the Indian Act is an installation by Coastal Salish artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.  The show is an installation of a performance originally done in England in the Spring of 1998.  The exhibition consisted of a number of Framed Indian Act Documents, which have been shot with a shotgun by the artist.  There was also a video component to the piece and plans distribute the Indian Act to various government agencies, ministers, etc.  Mr. Paul was present at the opening of this exhibition and gave and artist talk.  Tribe was proud to debut a new documentary about Lawrence Paul produced by the National Film Board (Yuxweluptun Man of Masks).  This was the first time this documentary was screened by the public.

Judy Anderson, Mediating Violence Offsite Public Art Project

Judy Anderson, Mediating Violence Offsite Public Art Project. 2002

Jeff Thomas, Mediating Violence Offsite Public Art Project

Jeff Thomas, Mediating Violence Offsite Public Art Project. 2002

In partnership with AKA, this exhibition of works were displayed in media-driven venues around Saskatoon. These venues included street ads, newspaper or magazine ads,  television spots or bus shelters. The theme of the exhibition surrounds violence and the effect it has on our communities.  The project approaches the notion of The Media as venue of cultural change, not simply a reflection of it.  Jeff Thomas was asked to participate in this project and the images shown are his.  He is a photographer and muli-media artist based out of Ottawa.  He uses photography as a tool to confront and change stereotypical images of First Nations people. He examined contemporary Indian identity from the perspective of an insider, juxtaposing his own current images to the historical representations that have helped to create the stereotypes if First Nations People.

James Luna, The Chapel of the Sacred Colours

James Luna, performance: The Chapel of the Sacred Colours. 2000

James Luna is a conceptual and performance artist, who forces viewers to reexamine Indian lives through the eyes of the Indian.  Luna, an expert at parodies throws Indian stereotypes back in the viewers faces and uses himself as a two way mirror, to view himself as well as show ourselves as we are.  He uses humor and irony (much like story tellers of previous generations) to relate stories without romance or cliche.


Hulleah Tsinhnajinnie, An Aboriginal World View

Hulleah Tsinhnajinnie, An Aboriginal World View. October 2001

This exhibition of digitized photographs was in partnership with T.P.G. and marks her Canadian debut.  Hulleah Tsinhnajinnie (Navajo/Creek/Seminole) is an American artist, writer and filmmaker hailing from Phoenix Arizona.  In this body of work, Hulleah employs found photographs, overlaying images with text and/or other images that comment on the content of the picture. She often uses turn of the century studio portraits of Native Americans which, in combination with the texts, refer the viewer to the past.  They suggest pressure to assimilate from one culture into another and through that process, the loss of the particularness of language, identity and history.  Hulleah processes the images through digitization, in effect re-mastering the images, re-capturing the content, then reformatting the message to bend the original to her own ends.  For Hulleah,  photographs are lessons and photography is a way to keep Native communities strong with their visions (more…)

Colleen Cutschall, The Stargate Codices

Colleen Cutschall, The Stargate Codices. February 2002    

Colleen Cutshcall began her training with noted painter Oscar Howe in the late 1960s.  Graduating with a B.F.A. from Barat College in Illinois in 11973, and a M.S. Ed. from Black Hills State College in 1976, she has taught and worked extensively in integrated curriculum development.  Primarily a painter, Cutschall has also developed a technique which replicates elaborate beadwork and often works in installation. Cutschall uses both natural and new materials and her research into First Nations ritual, cosmology, mythology, astronomy and current issues are developed into works intended to educate and lay the critical foundations for a globally sustainable future.  Her work is inspired by a distinctly Lakota world view and enhanced by the exploration of other cultures and religions.  Stargates and portals mediates between the traditional beliefs of a people and the uncertainty of histories past and future.

Brandlee LaRocque and Kevin Kelly, Land Shift

Brandlee LaRocque and Kevin Kelly, Land Shift. 1999

Tribe in partnership with AKA Gallery present Land Shift.  The exhibition dealt with land use and issues surrounding changes in human relationships to the land. LaRocques sculpural installation used found objects combined with traditional hide stretchers, in reference to the Aboriginal tradition of adaptation.

Edward Poitras, Drawing a line for a souvenir

Edward Poitras, Drawing a line for a souvenir from the exhibition Marking Time. 2005

Structured around the concept of passing, marking, remembering and imaging time and its affect of the people and the land, Marking Time presents a complex interplay of resonating images and ideas.   Edward Poitras presents 2,000 pounds of glossy golden rope on varied sized spools.  The starting point for this piece was a rumour re-circulated on the web site of The Midland Historical Volunteers 1885. The website states that the rope used to hang Riel was sold by entrepreneurs in foot long lengths as souvenirs after his execution at the Mounted Police Barracks in Regina.

Frank Shebageget , Quantification

Frank Shebageget , Quantification. February 2003

Frank Shebageget, Ojibway, is a sculputre/installation artist that employs a variety of materials to arrive at a comprehensive presentation of idea and aesthetic.  Elements such as wood and copper are used for their formal properties as their historical and cultural implications.  In exploring issues of native culture and its representations, his works have dealt with the idea of repetition.  With elements of quantification, in the form of statistics (eg. population and death rates), repetition empowers the objects and space,  creating an environment that reveals the voids in his identity.  A way of understanding culture is to comment on what is missing.


Wally Dion, Red Worker

Wally Dion, Red Worker from the exhibition No Word for Goodbye. 2006

Even in instances where language and culture disappear through trauma of assimilation and prejudice, there remain the remnants of the philosophies that nurture survival.  Felicia Gay articulates, Language embodies the way a society thinks.  Through learning and speaking a particular language, an individual absorbs the collective thought processes of a people.(p78) Though First Nations languages have struggled in these last generations to regenerate fluent speakers; those remnants that are intricately tied to language remain as a collective thought process or in other words produce a First Nations worldview.  In the Cree language and in numerous other First Nation languages there is no work for goodbye; after all it is an English and Christian construct meaning God be with you.  The English connotation that coincides with goodbye is to part with a blessing but also has a connotation of finality that is not seen in most if not all First Nation languages in Canada.  The notion of cycles touches not only culture;but also touches on the way we perceive others and ourselves.  When Europe painted or photographed Indians, their worldview was linear.  At the time the Indian was seen as something that would die or cease to exist.  Our First Nations worldview is not linear but cyclical.  That is why our languages do not contain a concept of finality.  When we look at ourselves with our worldview, we do not conceive an end.  There is no word for goodbye; the absence of finality in our language gives First Nation a place of resistance and creates a place for transformation.  Language is a tactic of survival.  This is the purpose of No Word for Goodbye.

Little Bear,  Leroy Jagged Worldviews Colliding,  Marie Battiste (Ed) Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision Vancouver:UBC Press, 2000