Royal Entitlement

Canada

Canada

Using the provincial and national coat of arms, this series explores Canada’s continued attachment to Europe and lack of inclusivity of First Nations, Inuit and Metis symbolism. Each coat of arms has been updated, some multiple times, making them more relevant to the Canadian landscape, however, there still remains a lack of Aboriginal inclusion. In fact, the largest reference is in Nova Scotia's arms, depicting a Mi’ kmaq warrior, standing in the ‘supporter’ position, where there usually stands a local animal like a ram, bear, elk or beluga, and occasionally an animal of European symbolism, like a lion or a mythical unicorn. The visual language emphasizes our failure to identify Aboriginal cultures as instrumental to Canadian history, and instead makes reference to them as the animals who were here before we came.

 

Black and gold ink with watercolour on paper. 2013 -2014. Aboriginal symbolism appears in colour.