Presented in English and Mi’kmaq, the latest chapter in this ambitious series presents a remarkable and respectful collaboration between an Indigenous and non-Indigenous artist, deepening and diversifying our understanding of the intergenerational knowledge of a Mi’kmaw community in Newfoundland.
Miawpukek—The Middle River is Chapter III of Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge, the art-and-knowledge project of artist-scholar Pam Hall. This volume presents local, place-based knowledge gathered by Hall and artist Jerry Evans. From canoe-building to berry harvesting, from preparing moose nose to foraging for natural medicines, from stewarding eel populations to reclaiming language and traditional cultural practices, Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge: Chapter III: Miawpukek—The Middle River vividly presents the rich, place-based knowings and doings of this Indigenous community on the south coast of Newfoundland.
About the authors
Pam Hall’s work in rural locations in Newfoundland and elsewhere has been ongoing since the late 1980s. Drawn deeply to place and to the labour of practice (and the practice of labour), she has worked with and around rural knowledge-holders, especially in the fisheries, for many years. Her parallel interests in the body, especially the female body, have also provided sites for her exploration of what knowledge might be, who “makes” it and who has the power to “name” it as knowledge and thus provide the basis for its value. Her work as an artist and a scholar has always been interdisciplinary, often been collaborative, and relies on and reveals a deep and profound attachment to this island and those who have invited her to make it her home for almost fifty years.
Jerry Evans is a senior Mi’kmaw visual artist, curator, and filmmaker. His work has explored his Indigenous heritage through painting, printmaking, and film, and he curated First, the 1996 inaugural exhibition of Indigenous art in Newfoundland and Labrador. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work is represented in many corporate, public, and private collections, including at the Indigenous Art Centre. The Middle River is his first major community collaboration with another artist and represents his ongoing exploration and celebration of Mi’kmaw and other Indigenous experience in Newfoundland and Labrador.