Powwow - Enoch Cree Nation

"WHERE ARE YOU FROM?"

“What does it take to be an Indian?

 

In order to find out you have to ask the question…

Where do you come from?

 

That is where you are going to start.”

 

Leo Pard – Blackfoot Elder

 

The spatial installation forms a circle, creating a sacred space that encompasses the various chapters.

 

 

The form of a circle is essential and intrinsic to the First Nations culture and environment. Many of their buildings and architecture are circular, when they meet they sit in a circle, their position in life and in this world is a circle.

 

A circle always has a center point, a spot of orientation. This core locus is the starting point to answer the question... "Where are you from?"

Elder Center - Ermineskin Cree Nation

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church - Enoch Cree Nation

Drumming at powwow - Enoch Cree Nation

“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days, when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished.

 

The flowering tree was the living centre of the hoop and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The East gave peace and light, the South gave warmth, The West gave rain and the North, with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance. This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion.

 

Everything the Power of the World does, is done in a circle. The sky is round and I have heard the earth is round like a ball and so are the stars. The Wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were. The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves.

 

Our Teepees were round like the nests of birds and these were always set in a circle, the nations hoop, a nest of many nests where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.”

 

Black Elk Speaks - Spiritual Advisor to the Oglala Sioux in 1930

Fort Pitt Cultural Camp - near Onion Lake Cree Nation

Powwow drum - Enoch Cree Nation

Service sign - Louis Bull Tribe

Top center of tipi - Ermineskin Cree Nation Highschool

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