Mapping Overlapping Stories
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jaune is an artist, educator, activist, curator, writer, and lecturer. Her work is about Indigenous perspectives of living on Turtle Island (North America). She connects history, current events, storytelling, the land, and political statements in her artwork.
Jaune is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and is also of Métis and Shoshone descent. She currently lives in New Mexico, in the United States.
Jaune works with and supports many other Indigenous artists. She helps fight for Indigenous artists to be recognized in American art history.
Jaune is known for many firsts as an Indigenous artist. For example, in 2023 she had a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. This was the first retrospective of an Indigenous artist to be shown at the Whitney. The fact that this date occurred only recently, in 2023, shows us the work that still needs to be done by art institutions to include Indigenous artists.
Things to Think About
- How should Indigenous perspectives be represented in art galleries?
- What does self-rule mean to you?
- How do Canadian and Saskatchewan government acts and policies help or hinder Indigenous self-rule?
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith often uses maps in her artwork. She collages, paints over, and re-works maps of the United States to tell stories of Indigenous life. Alter a map to make a layered picture that tells more than one story!
- Black-and-white print of a map
- Red and blue decoder glasses, or 3D glasses
- Pencil Crayons or markers in blue and red
- Stamp pads in blue and red
1. Think about a personal story that you can connect to a map. It could be your family history, a story about a trip you took, a story about a special event, or anything else you can connect to a place.
2. Find or print out a map to draw your story on. Some examples of map locations and boundaries include:
- Wascana Park
- the Prairie Provinces
- treaties in the country or the province
- Indigenous territories
- Indigenous languages
- North America/ Turtle Island
3. Draw your story onto the map in either blue or red. You can draw a large picture within the map’s borders. Or you can draw small symbols to represent where each part of the story happened. You might want to use stamps to add symbols to your drawing. You may even want to draw a path to represent where you moved during your story. Or you might draw new borders and divisions on your map based on your story.
4. Think about a story someone else has told you that happened at the same place. This could be a historical story or a personal story. If you don’t know any stories that connect to the map you chose, try asking friends and family, or researching to learn one.
5. If you did your first drawing in red, put on the red decoder glasses. If you did your first story in blue, put on the blue glasses. If you only have 3D glasses with red on one side and blue on the other, you’ll need to look through one half at a time. Looking through the lens of the same colour as your drawing should make your first drawing mostly disappear.
6. Draw this second story about something that happened to someone else on your map. Use whichever colour you didn’t use in your first story.
7. Take off the decoder glasses. You’ll have an abstract artwork that shows both stories on the map at once! Or you can change your perspective by looking through the coloured lenses to focus in on one story. Some Indigenous communities believe that the land holds memory of all the stories that happen on it. You’ve just created an artwork that shows how the stories of the land can co-exist and overlap. You’ve also created an artwork where the lens you look through changes what you see.
Indigenous people: the first people to live in a place. In Canada, Indigenous peoples include the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. The word Indigenous can also be used to describe something belonging to Indigenous peoples.
Perspective: how you see or understand something.
Political: related to the government, laws, and rules of a place.
Retrospective: an art exhibit that focuses on an artist’s work throughout their life.
Institutions: important places and groups of people. Institutions help create and uphold social ideas and beliefs.
Colonialism: when one country or group of people tries to take over another country or group of people. It often includes trying to remove or push out the original people living in a place. This can include trying to physically remove the original group of people. It can also include trying to change their ways of life and thinking to fit with those of the colonizing group of people. Colonization has huge effects on people that last many generations.
Act: a decision made by a government or the legal written document that represents a decision.