Currently I am on a research trip in Edmonton, Alberta. My mom was nice enough to offer to come along with me; sharing the experience has been amazing. Tomorrow we’ll drive up to Grande Prairie and onto the Lesser Slave Lake area where my maternal ancestors lived since time immemorial.
Along with researching my maternal genealogy and the place they once lived I have brought along posters of Elsie. I screen printed over 200 of them before I left Halifax, and plan on posting them up along my travels. Yesterday my mom and I hit the streets of Edmonton and posted her up. Elsie is a character I created based on a historical classroom photograph of St. Bernard Indian Residential School, where my grandmother attended. Aesthetically she is meant to represent every female student but is individualized by her name, which was my grandmothers. Elsie seeks to engage the viewer with her eye contact, confronting the viewer and asking them to question the space in which she is placed. Posting images of Elsie up along this trip is an act of indigenizing, decolonizing, resisting and claiming space.