Mediating the Treaties
Location: Air Canada Park, 345 Portage Avenue
Medium: Stainless steel with digital print, granite
"Mediating the Treaties uses a two-headed coin to capture the ambivalence of Treaty No. 1. It addresses the verbal and written negotiations and differeng and competing understandings of Treaty No. 1 provisions between Queen Victoria's (1819-1901) representatives and the seven Chiefs of Manitoba including Chiefs Miskookenew (Red Eagle or Henry Prince, 1819-1899) and Kakekapenais (Forever Bird or William Pennefather or Mann, 1816-1897/1898)."
Mediating the Treaties was created as part of THIS PLACE on Treaty 1 Territory & the homeland of the Métis Nation. This is a major public art project that builds on efforts to create awareness of the rich Indigenous cultures, peoples and heritage that are at the roots of our territory, city and province. Indigenous artists were asked to respond to the idea of this place on Treaty No. 1 territory and the homeland of the Métis nation, and their reflections range in concept and expression. As a place of community and gathering in downtown Winnipeg, the artworks located in this park make a significant mark in the city.
Rolande Souliere’s art practice addresses Indigeneity on a local, national and international level through her use and manipulation of assisted readymade, handmade processes and abstraction. Living between Australia and Canada, countries that have significant Indigenous populations, Souliere reveals aspects of colonial histories that draw upon personal and collective histories on a global level. Souliere’s well known artworks are those that employ Indigenous colours and symbolism through the use of street barrier and caution tape to comment on land claims, infrastructural intervention and economic expansion with ongoing colonial settlement.
Since 2013 Souliere has worked with Indigenous communities from Australia and Canada on her social art project The Collage of Indigenization. She has participated in national and international exhibitions and residencies, and has been the recipient of visual arts grants such as the New Work Grant by Canada Council in 2012 and 2015.
Souliere is Anishinabe, born in Toronto, Canada, is a member of Michipicoten First Nation. She holds a PhD in Visual Arts and an MVA from the University of Sydney, Australia.