T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss: wa mi íyim ta sḵwalwen-cht ta mén̓men̓-cht / The children make us (or our hearts) stronger
October 1 – November 4, 2022 | FREE
The Cabinet | Room 4390 – SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver
Reception: Monday, October 31 | 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Curated by Denise Oleksijczuk.
This work represents the Children of Residential Schools that were discovered through deep penetrating radar equipment that was used to search for those hidden bodies. There are still countless indigenous bodies to be found, and many of them are children of many ages that were buried in unmarked places surrounding residential schools across Turtle Island. These children who were never nurtured, and never had a chance to live a full life due to the extreme racism, cultural hatred towards and of indigenous cultures by European settlers, specifically Religious figures of the Catholic Church, politicians, the English Monarchy and Indian Agents, as well as the RCMP, all of whom played roles in destroying indigenous cultures and literally the innocent lives of thousands and thousands of Indigenous Children. These children who died without recognition of their identities and at the hands of those who participated in their deaths, never telling their families, as well as those who survived and returned to their communities with so much trauma, that they no longer knew who they were. There are thousands of survivors of these horrific schools, and there are thousands of inter-generational survivors who grew up with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and community members who were all so disconnected from their spirits as a direct result of these institutions and the criminals who created these schools and built their careers on the deaths and the destruction of the lives of Indigenous children and the destruction of the lives of thousands of indigenous peoples.
This entire work is dedicated to all of the Indigenous Survivors of Genocide that this country has allowed so many people with privileges and power, to hide and lie about in the name of erasure of our entire existence as Indigenous Peoples.
– T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss
T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss (Skwxwu7mesh, Sto:lo, Hawaiian, Swiss) is an educator, interdisciplinary artist and Indigenous ethnobotanist engaged in community based teaching and sharing. Throughout Wyss’s 30 year practice, Wyss’s work encompasses storytelling and collaborative initiatives through their knowledge and restoration of Indigenous plants and natural spaces. Wyss has been recognized for exchanging traditional knowledge in remediating our relationship to land through digital media, site-specific engagements and weaving. Wyss has participated and exhibited at galleries, museums, festivals and public space such as Vancouver Art Gallery, Morris, Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery and the PuSh Festival to name a few. Their work can be found in various collections such as the National Library of Canada, Special Collections at the Walter Phillips Gallery, and the Vancouver Public Library. They have lead the transformation of Semi-Public (半公開) during their Fellowship at 221a and they are the 2021 ethnobotanist resident at the Wild Bird Sanctuary. They have assisted in developing an urban Indigenous garden currently showing at the 2021 Momenta Biennale in Montreal.