Faces of the Treaty Empire - Oppressor
Artist: Andy Everson
Measurements: 8.5" x 11" 100% Cotton Rag Paper
Image Size - 7.7" x 9.7"
What I do know is that under the treaty process, our community has begun to fracture. Our very future as a people is at stake. Will treaty define who we are or will our culture do that? Will treaty lead us to form a “Treaty Empire” or a “Treaty Rebellion”?
What particularly irks me about the treaty process is that the Federal and Provincial governments have no qualms about invoking fear during negotiations. These oppressors come whirling in, evil in their eyes, and come up with things like: “You better hurry up and sign treaty or there won’t be any land left for settlement” It’s sad: our ancestors have been here since time immemorial, we haven’t yet extinguished title over our land and we live in the second largest country in the world. Yet, the governments have the gall to scare us into hurrying up with treaty.
We need to look the oppressors in the eyes and let them know that we can’t be frightened into signing treaty. We won’t jeopardize our children’s children's future by adhering to an imposed government timeline. When confronted by fear, we need to slice it in two with the strength of our ancestors.
About The Artist
Andy Everson was born in Comox B.C. in 1972 and named Nagedzi after his grandfather, Chief Andy Frank. His cultural interests lay with both his Comox and Kwakwaka'wakw ancestries and are expressed through dancing, singing, and even the pursuit of a Master's degree in anthropology. Andy feels that my artwork stands on par with these other accomplishments.
Although he began drawing Northwest Coast art at an early age, his first serious attempt wasn't until 1990 when He started designing and painting chilkat-style blankets for use in potlatch dancing. From these early self-taught lessons he has tried to follow in the footsteps of m Kwakiutl relatives in creating bold and unique representations that remain rooted in the age-old traditions of his ancestors.