Christi Belcourt is a Michif (Métis) visual artist, an author, an environmentalist and an advocate for the lands, waters and Indigenous peoples. She is a lead organizer for the Onaman Collective that focuses on resurgence of language and land based practices; and, the lead coordinator for Walking With Our Sisters, a community-driven project that honours murdered or missing Indigenous women. Her work Giniigaaniimenaaning (Looking Ahead) commemorates residential school survivors, their families and communities to mark the Prime Minister’s historic Apology in 2008 and is installed at Centre Block on Parliament Hill commissioned by the Government of Canada. She was named the Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council in 2015, and in 2016 she won a Governor General’s Innovation Award and was named the winner of the 2016 Premier’s Awards in the Arts. Christi is the author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007) and Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010). Her work is found in the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall.
Surrey Muse is honored to have Christi Belcourt’s art work on our poster for the March 2018 gathering.
The art work comes with the following text:
Water has no flag, Water knows no race.
The earth’s belly grew
of sun and moon and stars
until her waters broke and all of creation took its first breath
crying out “glorious is life” into the four directions.
And for a million moons
and a million cycles around the sun
she danced, birthing beings as miraculous as the stars,
while the sun and moon
danced like jewels on the surface of her seas
and all of creation sang in unison “glorious is life”.
For a million moons and a million cycles around the sun,
all drank from the shores of her veins,
all whose bones returned to her flesh
all who come from her all here now
carrying within them all who ever were
and all who will ever be.
whose waters broke on that first day
and made song possible,
We sing now for you,
Drumming to your heartbeat
with nothing left to give but our bones and flesh as an offering,
so that we too can drink in life from the shores of your veins
for another million moons
and another million cycles around the sun.
Surrey Muse gatherings take place
on the unceded territories of the
Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.