Walking the Talk
2016, 05:21 minutes, colour, no audio
The Two Row Wampum was the first treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Europeans (Dutch) and had its 400th anniversary in 2013. The agreement is to live in peace, friendship and respect in parallel co-existence. Many people, indigenous and settler, are working to renew this treaty. I recruited participants for this video primarily via social media and on site asked them to self-identify as indigenous or other. We walked the same route on a trail by Twelve Mile Creek twice, in Two Rows and as a group. In both shots the people are moving towards us/the camera until the end. Everyone who was willing stood for a close-up of a set of gestures to their eye, ear and mouth. I used this imagery in a body of work in the 1990s and was inspired to return to it by the idea of the treaty as a spoken and listened to promise that must be honoured, embodied and lived.
I am a settler who looks to the treaties for guidance for the present and future. I have received many teachings on the Two Row over many years and have discussed my responsibility to make this work with knowledge keeper, Rick Hill.
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