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Lalakenis/All Directions
A Journey of Truth and Unity


On July 2, 2014, renowned Kwakwaka’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 onus of the wrongs done to Canada’s 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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