Indigenous people urged for decades for a national solidarity day with Indigenous peoples. It is astonishing that it took until the 21st century to see this symbolic gesture. European settlers stole these territories through dishonesty and bad faith agreements. Ours is a society that, for generations, attempted to erase and assimilate these cultures, rather than recognize their contributions for a healthy and respectful society that honours all life. Every year we produce a poster developed by an Indigenous artist to honour this day and generations of Indigenous peoples sidelined by colonialism.
Innu Artist Anatole St-Onge created this year’s work. He comes from a family of hunters, lumberjacks and musicians from Pessamit. He has been living in Maliotenam for almost 20 years. In 2008, a relative asked him for an easel. Unfortunately, that person passed away the next day. Overwhelmed by grief, Anatole wondered if perhaps the easel was for him. In 2010, Anatole swapped his guitar for a paintbrush. At 45 years old, he discovered a bond with canvas that would grow into his new occupation.