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Mother Earth Revolution

Mother Earth Revolution

Christi Belcourt (Onaman Collective)

The Onaman Collective’s Mother Earth Revolution speaks of reconciliation as something that must first take place between Indigenous peoples and the Earth before it can begin between nations. Those prior relationships with land, water, and the non-human are at the centre of Onaman Collective’s politically active work. This piece originated as a banner design by Christi Belcourt celebrating youth empowerment and leadership in the movement for Mother Earth. Framed by the land and water below and the sky above, seven raised fists show us seven fires in a gesture of power and unity. The designs on each arm show a variety of Indigenous tattooing traditions that were targeted by assimilatory and “reform” policies of the past century but are being revived today. This reclamation of bodily sovereignty through cultural practices is part of that “reconciliation” from within, as Indigenous peoples assert the depth of their embodied connection to land.

About the Artist
Onaman Collective is formed by Indigenous artists and environmentalists Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch, who love the land and believe in the spirits of the land. Isaac’s Ojibway name is Manzinapkinegego’anaabe / Bombgiizhik and he is from the fish clan of Serpent River First Nation, Ontario. Christi is a Michif visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people; from Mânitow Sâkahikan, Albertaj, living in Anishinaabeg territory on the Northern Shore of Lake Huron, Ontario. Together, they believe in the resilience and beauty of their people and in their Elders and young people. With everything they do, the underlying theme is always respect for the land and reclamation of the ways of their ancestors.

Mother Earth Revolution is part of Tree Protection Zone, a transformative Indigenous-led public art exhibition at Hart House Circle. See works by other Tree Protection Zone artists: Shuvinai Ashoona, Susan Blight, Carrie Hill, Isaac Murdoch (Onaman Collective), Taqralik Partridge in collaboration with Nils Ailo Utsi, and Que Rock/Manitou Nemeen (Quentin Commanda).