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Lalakenis/All Directions
A Journey of Truth and Unity

CUTTING COPPER Performances and Discussions: Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5

On July 2, 2014, renowned Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw artist Chief Beau Dick along with 21 companions set out from the University of British Columbia on a journey to Ottawa which they called Awalaskenis II: Journey of Truth and Unity. Intending to raise awareness about the plight of the environment and to challenge elected officials to attend to the relationship between the federal government and First Nations people, the group brought with them a copper shield made by Haida carver Giindajin Haawasti Guujaaw. On July 27, the shield was broken on Parliament Hill in a traditional copper-breaking ceremony, marking a ruptured relationship in need of repair, and passing the burden of the wrongs done to First Nations people from them to the Government of Canada. Lalakenis/All Directions will present the broken copper shield along with the other five coppers, sacred and ceremonial objects taken on the journey and those gifted to the travellers along the way including pipes, medicine, thunder sticks and rattles. Video, photography and narrative accounts will trace encounters along the way as well as document the social media presence of the month-long journey. Lalakenis/All Directions will reveal how ceremony and performance can be powerful tools of expression around very contemporary issues.

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From the Archives

Walter C. Koerner Library
1958 Main Mall

This exhibition features a selection of artifacts from the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Archives. The artifacts are presented in their protective archival enclosures, obscuring their most obvious levels of significance and making them into receptacles, inviting viewers to provide their own meanings and points of reference. This exhibition is a collaboration of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Walter C. Koerner Library at the University of British Columbia, and is made possible by the generous support of the Audain Foundation. Art in the Library offers new perspectives on contemporary art by presenting art that challenges our perceptions. This exhibition complements the questions posed by the objects that are included in Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery from January 16-April 17, 2016.

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