Quebec Standard

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Lac-Brome Museum celebrates the present and past of Abenaki Nation with a new exhibition

Quebec

Key takeaways: 

  • With the input of Waban-Aki Nation and modern artists, they’re working to reflect regional history better.
  • The installation Les Voyageurs by artist Christine Sioui-Wawanoloath is seen inside the Lac-Brome Museum.

Visible from the entrance of the Lac-Brome Museum is a birchbark canoe with colorful drawings of a bear, moose, rabbit, and wolf sitting inside.

It’s an induction by Abenaki and Wendat contemporary artist Christine Sioui-Wawanoloath named Les Voyageurs — and an illustration of how the museum connects the past and present in its edited collection of Abenaki pieces.

Brome County, approximately 100 km southeast of Montreal, is a traditional region of the Abenaki Nation. Curator Rachel Lambie states the museum has been working to recall the Indigenous history of the region better.

The first order of business was to have a land exposure. The choice of language was necessary — while a history museum concentrated on the past, Lambie said they wanted to make sure the present tense was used.

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Visible from the entrance of the Lac-Brome Museum is a birchbark canoe with colorful drawings of a bear, moose, rabbit, and wolf sitting inside

“Using the present tense is a form of talking about Indigenous societies without presuming that it’s all done with and all gone,” says Lambie, who took over as curator the prior year as the initiative was already underway. “It’s a form of, sort of, fighting the idea of colonialism.”

In addition to the land acknowledgment and four contemporary works by Sioui-Wawanoloath on exhibit, the museum also worked to prove that the objects it has been accumulating for over a century were actually from the province.

They shipped their entire collection of Indigenous objects to the archaeological bureau at the Musée des Abénakis in Odanak, Que., and went out to the archaeological bureau of the Grand Council of the Waban-Aki Nation (GCNWA).

“It makes us feel right to be acknowledged, related to the connection to our region and as a country,” says Suzie O’Bomsawin, director of the Ndakina Office of the GCNWA.

Source – cbc.ca

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