Fifty years ago, Canada celebrated its hundredth anniversary of Confederation. At Expo 67, in communities across the country, we celebrated our coming of age as a modern, bilingual, bicultural nation—a place where anyone from any culture could thrive.
But beneath the applause and the cheerful music was a darker note. In his public address at the festivities, Chief Dan George lamented what Canada’s centennial did not celebrate: the colonization and marginalization of Indigenous peoples who lived on these “good lands.” Now in the year of Canada’s 150th birthday, we honour a new understanding of our past. We have begun—at long last—to share in a process of national reconciliation and to come together to reimagine our contribution to a global future.
Artists give form and meaning to both the land and the invisible landscape of the spirit, both the past and the future. The works of Canada’s artists—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, historical and contemporary—invite us to see our country and our place within it with new eyes. This book celebrates their visions, as well as the good lands we have shared and shaped for millennia that, in turn, have shaped us.
About the authors
Victoria Dickenson is Director of the McCord Museum in Montreal.
Lee Maracle is a member of the Sto:Lo nation. She was born in Vancouver and grew up on the North Shore. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ravensong and Daughters Are Forever. Her novel for young adults, Will’s Garden was well-received and is taught in schools. She has also published on book of poetry, Bent Box, and a work of creative non-fiction, I Am Woman. She is the co-editor of a number of anthologies, including the award winning anthology My Home As I Remember and Telling It: Women and Language across Culture. Her work has been published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. The mother of four and grandmother of seven, Maracle is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto, the Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House, and instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the S.A.G.E. (Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education). She is also a writing instructor at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
In 2009, Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University. Maracle recently received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth, and is 2014 finalist for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington.
NAOMI FONTAINE is a member of the Innu Nation of Uashat and a graduate of the Université de Laval. Her first novel, Kuessipan, was made into a feature film that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019. Manikanetish was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards and ICI-Radio Canada’s “Combat des livres.”
Other titles by Victoria Dickenson
Other titles by Lee Maracle
A Generous Spirit
Selected Works by Beth Brant
Conversations about Indigenous Manhood
I Am a Body of Land
Writers on Writing in Canada
Daughters Are Forever
Un territoire a partager
L'art du paysage au Canada