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Traditional Gathering
O'Kaadenigan Wiingashk



Belle Sauvage, Buffalo Boy and Miss Chief Eagle Testickle set up Camp at Artspace, June 18th as part of the second annual Ode'min Giizis Festival.

Written by Wanda Nanibush.

Belle Sauvage and Buffalo Boy invite you to watch their WILD west performance where you can engage in playing dress up and join the show. Get your photos taken with real live 'Indians.' A queer rodeo you have never seen before where buckskin meets fishnets and buffalo g-strings and where rodeo's biggest name is a Cree/Saulteux woman. The cowboy here reveres the Buffalo and is a gender bending, sexually progressive two-spirit. The cowgirl here is the pistol wielding "Indian' women with the meanest roping skills. The time is now as a campy reincarnated turn of the century wild west show, world fair, early peep show where Indigenous Peoples performed western imaginaries of colonial conquest, manifest destiny and supposed savagery.

Artists Lori Blondeau and Adrian Stimson trot out their alter egos Belle Sauvage and Buffalo Boy mining and miming a long history of performing and playing Indian by Indigenous Peoples and Settlers alike. Remember to read the fine print. You must sign?? over all your rights to the photos taken and sign with an X. A re-enactment of treaty signing days when greedy unscrupulous treaty commissioners would make Indigenous Peoples of the Plains sign their names to treaties that they later refused to honour and which they interpreted as a signing over of all Indigenous rights to life, land and culture.

Kent Monkman's alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle's adventures and histories are captured in a trilogy of films expanding the critique of colonialism to all things canonical like Edward S. Curtis, Western films and George Catlin. In Group of Seven Inches, Monkman inverts the colonial gaze by presenting Miss Chief as the one with the brush, painting her understanding of the white man as she explores two hot hapless white men. Shooting Geronimo finds Miss Chief changing history one high heeled kick at a time as she records the history of two young 'braves' taking power back from the little white man behind the camera who desires more than their picture. Robin's Hood brings that wandering artist, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle into Sherwood Forest for her ultimate tryst.

The strategies of mimicry, parody and masquerade allow for a humourous but unsettling window into the relationship of sex and conquest, desire and colonial representation. In wilding the West, all three artists transform the 3 C's of Capitalism, Christianity and Colonialism into Camp, Chance and Celebration.

Join them at Artspace on June 18th for modern myth-making mayhem.

Film still from Shooting Geronimo