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Lana Gets Her Talk


Catalogue Number:  BEMA03CAP
Producer:  Beth Wishart MacKenzie
Subject:  Arts, Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Documentary, First Nations Studies, Guidance, Health, History, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Psychology, Social Sciences, Social Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2017
Running Time:  37:08


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Cree artist Lana Whiskeyjack explores the transgenerational effects of Canada’s Indian Residential School system through art - a means to transcending the trauma.

A cinematic observation of Indigenous artist Lana Whiskeyjack as she works to complete a mixed-media sculpture of a tortured face, the face of her uncle. Lana calls the piece "Losing My Talk". This brief study of an artist and her work helps us come to some understanding of the trauma experienced by Canada’s Indigenous people in the Indian residential school system, of its enduring effects on the children of survivors of the IRS, and of one woman’s journey to recover what was lost: dignity, identity, and voice. A story of resilience, Lana’s journey speaks of the power of Indigenous “ways of being” in our time.

As a tool for Reconciliation, “Lana Gets Her Talk” formed part of a Cross-Canada Touring Art & Film Installation "pikiskwe-speak": An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation.

Lana Whiskeyjack is a multidisciplinary treaty iskwew artist from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Treaty Six Territory, Alberta. Guided by her grandmother’s advice, “Go to school, travel, and see as much as you can. Then return home to share what you learned, but do not forget where you came from.” Lana’s research, writing, and art explores the paradoxes of what it means to be nehiyaw (Cree) and iskwew (woman) in a Western culture and society; and, how she and other Indigenous peoples are reclaiming, re-gathering, and remembering their ancestral medicine (sacredness and power). Her art is passionate and expressive, born from the deep roots of her culture, history, and intergenerational relations. Through the examination of sometimes difficult subjects, her art reflects the intrinsic beauty of her interconnections with the earth, Cree language and all living beings.

Also available with French Subtitles: Lana recouvre sa langue

Click here for version with Described Video.


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