Wasushk Watapa / Rat River /Rivière aux Rats

ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ / Ruovttu Guvlui / Towards Home
in exhibition with the Canadian Centre of Architecture

Tayr sabli, simen pigmenti, simen, l’fil di paysh, rasad en virt


Our culture and values are embedded into the built world. What if designers considered that the land is part of us, and that we are an extension, still connected to and part of the earth. I look at the urban built environment and see how disconnected it is from Spirit and Land. I’m interested in the wholeness of our collective body’s connection to spaces around us. ‘Rivière aux Rats’ is a sculptural piece of pigmented layered rammed earth, symbolizing how our relationship with land includes generations before and after us. The colours represented are from the medicine wheel teachings. On top, there is a layer of beadwork; hand stitched mimicking a plan view of my great grandfathers’ property in St. Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba. My mother tells me stories of working in the garden near the creek along the hill as a kid here. Not far from this land my family also had a farm where my granny grew up spending years in the garden, collecting eggs, baking galette and travelling by her family’s red river cart and caboose as a kid. The beadwork in ‘Rivière aux Rats’ represents the tactile connection my family has with the land.

Michif Translation:

Not kulchur ipi no valewr son enbarki dan in mond di konstruksyon. Kosay si li designer sa konsidayr ki la tayr si ayn parchi di nozot, ipi kon y in extensyon, enkor tolten konekti ipi eyt ayn parchi di la tayr. J’i r’gawrd l’invironment bawchi urban ipi j’i way komaw djiskonekti l’mond ki son di Spirit and Land. J’i t’interesi dan l’integriti di not koneksyon kolekchif o zispaws alentowr di nozot. 'Rivière aux rats' si in morso di tayr bachu en kowsh pigmenti, symbolizan komaw not relasyon avek la tayr y inklu li generasyon avan ipi aprey nozot. Plasi su l’top si in layer di beadwork-in plan kowzu a la min di mon gran gran payr sa tayr a St Pierre, Manitoba. Ma mayr y m’kont di zistwayr di travayli dan l’jardin prosh dju creek o lon di la but kom in enfan isit. Paw lwin di sit tayr, ma family y l’onvay ayn farm o bor di la Wasushk Watapa. Ma memayr y la grandji isit, pawsi di zani dan l’jardin, ramansi li zef, fayr la galet, ipi wayaji en kart di la Rivyayr Roozh kan ki t’ay in enfan. Li rasad a Rivière aux rats sa riprezant la koneksyon tactile ma famiyl y law avek la tayr.