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Richmond Cultural Centre Rooftop Garden 7700 Minoru Gate (upstairs from the Art Gallery)
Public celebration of Capture Photography Festival Canada Line Station installation by Diamond Point, curated by Paula Booker
Special guest – Water keeper and activist Audrey Siegl (Musqueam)
Artist – Diamond Point (Musqueam)
This artwork highlights much needed Musqueam sniw̓ (teachings), about the sacredness of salmon and the the stal̓əw̓ (Fraser River). It honors the long and enduring relationship Musqueam have with the land and waters of what is now known as the Fraser River estuary and Richmond.
Installed for Capture Photography Festival in the spring, Richmond Art Gallery invites you to celebrate this inaugural Musqueam public art project with refreshments and words in the rooftop garden of the Richmond Cultural Centre followed by a short walk to see the public art project at the Brighouse Skytrain station.
A 10 minute walk from the gallery, Brighouse skytrain station now features bold salmon motifs with many stories behind them, by Diamond Point. “If you ask anyone in our community of their fondest childhood memories, connecting them to their family and ancestors, many will tell you fishing stories” she explains. The young artist worked with family and community members to create a stunning photo montage for Richmond.
“As a community and First Nation, Musqueam has always practiced strong sniw̓ (teachings). We have lived here and fished salmon from stal̓əw̓, the Fraser River since time immemorial. This knowledge continues to be passed on through families to our future generations. Many non-Indigenous residents of Richmond are unaware of our history here. It is important for everyone to know that this city sits on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam people.” – Diamond Point
Diamond Point was selected for this CanadaLine station by a panel of Musqueam artists and project mentor, artist Krista Belle Stewart (Syilx Nation) from an open call for a Musqueam artist or collective.
This celebration is also the launch for this ongoing commission, with the details of the open call for a Musqueam artist or collective for 2020 to be announced.
This project is a partnership between Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond Public Art, Capture Festival and CanadaLine.
About the presenters:
sχɬemtəna:t, Audrey Siegl is an independent activist from the unceded lands of the Musqueam, active in grassroots environmental and social justice-political frontline movements.
She has worked on raising awareness on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, the housing crisis, the Fentynal crisis, forced displacement and the connections between extractive industry projects and violations of First Nations, land and human rights.
Audrey and her late sister are currently being honoured in an art exhibit that looks at the sacred relationships between Indigenous women and water: ‘qaʔ yəxw – water honours us: womxn and waterways’ at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver.
Audrey grew up hearing hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, and said the language and land are inextricably connected.“All of our directional language was derived from our relationship with the water,” she said. “The water was as essential to our life as our own blood, and it still is. It’s our transportation, it’s where our food came from, it is part of our ceremonies and our everyday work.”
Diamond Point is a contemporary Coast Salish artist and a member of the Musqueam First Nation. Diamond currently resides in Ladner, however grew up and was raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve since birth. She describes herself as a contemporary artist because she feels that her artwork belongs within the present, with her techniques and style constantly developing and changing through out her experiences.
In 2014, Diamond had the privilege of showcasing her work in the Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Indigenous Youth exhibition through the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. More recently in 2018, Diamond created designs for the new Totem Park residences at the University of British Columbia (UBC) that have been named after traditional Musqueam village sites, c̓əsnaʔəm, həm̓ləsəm̓, and q̓ələχən. In May 2019, Diamond’s artwork was used as the logo for the HASTAC conference held at UBC, which sits on traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.
Diamond also has a passion towards a career in education. She currently studies at UBC and is in the NITEP Indigenous Teacher Education Program. Diamond feels incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunities to express her Indigenous identity and culture within many realms.
Above: Top - Installation image: Fraser River Families, by Diamond Point, 2019, photo by Biliana Velkova. Bottom - Portrait: Water keeper Audrey Siegl