Warrior Woman: “Stop the Silence!!” Mary Longman @ Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, Winnipeg [20 May]

Warrior Woman: “Stop the Silence!!” Mary Longman

15:00 - 16:00

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Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery
203-290 McDermot Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0T2
Artist Talk
Warrior Woman: “Stop the Silence!!”
Billboard and Awareness Ribbon Project
By artist, Mary V. Longman. marylongman.com

Tour: Winnipeg — 1524 Broadway Ave W (May 15-June 11) ∙ Calgary — 4088 16 Avenue E (June 26-July 16) ∙ Vancouver — 654 Nelson St. (June 12 – July 9)

Mary Longman talk in Winnipeg, MB at Urban Shaman Gallery at March 20th, 3pm

“This work is a national call to action for the federal government to acknowledge the history of Indigenous genocide in Canada and in North America; to legislate this history as mandatory curriculum in Ministry of Education school texts and; to fund memorial sites across Canada.” (Longman)

Summary: An estimated 100 million Indigenous people perished in a 400 year long genocidal war. Colonial strategies of genocide included: slavery, torture and mass murders, scalping proclamations, small pox germ warfare, forced famine and religious propaganda to justify genocide, all of which are recorded in our national and international archives.(see books:Stannard, David, 1993. American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World and Bartolomé de las Casas, 1552. Devastation of the Indies).

The concept of Warrior Woman began as a memorial for the artist’s late mother, Lorraine Longman, (Mar. 29, 1949 — Dec. 24, 2012) and then evolved into a larger theme of Indigenous Genocide in North America. Lorraine’s legacy was the earned title of, “the toughest chick in the hood,” a necessary survival strategy in difficult times or racism, poverty, violence, residential schools and child apprehensions (Sixties Scoop). Her story is one of courage, pride and tenacity and therefore her tribute emerged into the transformation of her image into Warrior Woman, the Indigenized version of the American Wonder Woman.

Warrior Woman’s character now fights for justice and transparency of Indigenous Genocide in North America. She becomes the voice for the millions of Indigenous people who were slain by Spanish, British, American colonial armies and settlers who were driven to inhumane acts by their greed of acquiring gold, land and scalping payments.

Warrior woman shouts out, “Stop the Silence!” as the North American mass genocide remains submerged and absent from educational history texts and government discourse. There has not been government acknowledgement, an apology or any memorials. She calls to action a national and international campaign for awareness of Indigenous Genocide by raising the red awareness ribbon.

Overall, this work serves as a long-overdue memorial to all the Indigenous men, women and children who died for the sake of colonial land acquisition. Their spirits will be honored and not forgotten, their story will be told and honored when the public unites in this campaign.

Within the first forty years of Colonial contact, (1492 -1532) fifteen million Aboriginals were slaughtered. In the 393 years of open war against Indigenous people, from 1492 to 1888, the estimated deaths culminated to a staggering 100 million, the largest act of genocide known to the world.

Ethnic cleansing strategies included: annihilation of entire villages; Spanish slavery and torture for gold mining; Scalping Proclamations sanctioned by the British and Spanish Governments; germ warfare with small pox infected blankets, sanctioned by British and American governments and; Canadian forced famine strategies that starved Indigenous people into the submission of signing treaties.

Slavery, Torture and Mass Murders: 1492-1532
In the book, Devastation of the Indies (1552), Spanish Dominican priest, Bartolomé de las Casas, (1484–1566) published his forty-year eye witness account of the genocide of Indigenous genocide in the Indies. De las Casas estimated that fifteen million Aboriginals were slaughtered in this time frame by Spanish Conquistadors in the most inhumane methods imaginable. Aboriginals were used as slaves to mine gold and were tortured by dismemberment of limbs or burned alive. Their flesh was fed to their ‘dog soldiers.’

Scalping Proclamations: 1744-1880s
Scalping Proclamations, sanctioned by British and Spanish governments, offered payments to any person who presented Aboriginal scalps. Key people who ordered Scalping Proclamations include: 1744, Massachusetts Governor William Shirley, 1756 Governor Robert Hunter Morris and Governor Charles Lawrence. 1835 and the 1880s, Spanish authorities of Mexico. At this time, settlers murdered Indigenous men, women and children to receive payments.

Germ Warfare: 1763-1837
In Canada, by the orders of Lord Jeffrey Amherst of the British Army in 1763, infected smallpox blankets were sent to Aboriginal settlements in order to bring about “… the total extirpation of those Indian Nations (Amherst In Hume, 2001, p. A21). Also see biological and chemical weapons expert, Jonathan B. Tucker's book, Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox.

In the United States, Indigenous people were exposed to infected blankets and coats, and then loaded into infected boats. To ensure high numbers died, the War Department reinforced the policy to refuse vaccination for Indigenous people. See also Barbara Alice Mann's, The Tainted Gift: The Disease Method of Frontier Expansion (2009).

Religious Propaganda for Genocide — Manifest Destiny: 1812-1870s
The religious/political rhetoric of the 1800s, termed, Manifest destiny, centered on the objective ofopen land expansion for settlers and Indian removal at all costs. The imperialist justification was based on the ideology that it was ‘the obvious fate’ ‘the will of god,’ that this new land belongs to Europeans.

This propaganda was sanctioned and physically enforced by the government and the courts. Key supporters of forced removal and genocide of Indigenous peoples were: John Marshall (1755 – 1835), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Andrew Jackson (1767 – 1845), President of USA, John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848), President of USA, and Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), President of USA.

Forced Famine & Treaties: 1867-1888
The first Prime Minister of Canada and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, from the periods between 1867 -1888, John A. McDonald (1851-1891), had two primary areas of focus; to attain as much land as possible for the British Crown and to move “[t]owards the extinguishment of the Indian Title to the lands.”

This period was the darkest, most tumultuous era in Canadian history, with Aboriginals being forced off of their traditional lands, their ceremonial gatherings and travel were banned, and the people were forced into submission through the strategy of famine, by destroying their main food source, the bison, and letting them starve on meagre food rations. Those that were resistant were imprisoned or hanged.

Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery acknowledges the support of our friends, volunteers, community and all our relations, NCI FM, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Wawanesa Insurance. ~GITCHI MIIGWETCH / HAI HAI

Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery
203 – 290 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0T2
T 204.942.2674
W urbanshaman.org
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