Print Method: Giclée
Released: June 2016
Paper Size: 17" x 22"
The North American governments of the 1800s made no bones about it: they wanted to solve the “Indian problem” once and for all. This was true whether you were on the Canadian side of the border or the American. Both governments enacted horrific policies against the Indigenous peoples of North America. Whether they outright promoted or pursued bounties on the lives of Native American men, women or children or sent diseases straight into the heart of our villages, they were complicit and culpable in what we would now call genocide. When killing our people directly didn’t work, they sought to “drive the Indian” out of our ancestors through policies of assimilation and laws that were meant to curtail our traditions and destroy our belief structures.
What did our people do in turn? They resisted…every…step…of…the…way.
When gunboats would bombard our village sites with cannon fire, our people would go into the woods only to come back out and rebuild. When the government sent police officers to arrest our people for potlatching, they went straight back to our traditions as soon as they were released from prison. When they were told not to dance, they danced. When they were told not to fish, they fished. When they were told not to speak our languages, they tried their best to uphold their native tongue in the face of residential schools.
What I have to say is this: resist. Resist all the forces that are trying to make you the same as everyone else. Resist the urges of modern throw-away consumerism. Resist being complacent. Every Indigenous child born today is an act of resistance. Every traditional song that you teach that child furthers that resistance. Every sacred dance that is danced and every word in our Indigenous languages that are spoken are acts of resistance. Every time our weavers weave and our carvers carve, they engage in resistance. They do something and, in fact, are someone that others once intended to wipe off the face of the earth.
I created this image as my own little act of resistance. I believe that it’s important to illustrate that even in the face of intergenerational trauma and adversity, we have persevered. Our people have endured it all and continually show that our cultures are meaningful and relevant in this day and age…we change, we adapt and we resist and we’re not afraid to have a little fun in the process.
“Resistance” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in June of 2016 and printed by Andy Everson at the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 241 prints bear the title “Resistance” and are signed by Andy Everson: 199 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/199 through 199/199; 19 Artist’s Proofs; 19 Remarques and 4 Printer’s Proofs. The acid-free Moab Entrada 100% cotton rag paper measures about 17x22 inches. Image size measures about 14.5x19 inches.