re (Read) – Don Ahnahnsisi McIntyre

re (Read) – Don Ahnahnsisi McIntyre

Within the Western myth of Indigenous culture as solely oral, lies a richer and more layered truth.  Aboriginal cultures have maintained law and order through conveyance of story sometimes orally but also through the making of Marks that can be read just like Western storybook.  These Indigenous narratives convey lessons on how to be a good citizen, a good neighbour, and a good human.  Within these Markings and stories lie Indigenous interpretations of law. The record of those stories as law remains. The myth of Indigenous oral tradition prospers because we don’t take the time to understand the lexicons of ‘Indigenous pre-contact literature’.  The myth helps in maintaining the failure, of the West, to acknowledge traditional Indigenous communication systems in the work of Reconciliation.

(re)Read superimposes is a small collection of legal words and phrases, used to describe indigenous states of being, that most people don’t understand.  We accept this unrecognizable jargon without question.  In the work of Reconciliation, it is essential that we all question what the law, and our governments write as right.  Superimposing traditional iconography, I have written the stories of Aboriginal peoples and matched those with Western treatise.  The result is an artistic and social bricolage that we must work to comprehend.

Artist bio:

Don McIntyre is an Ojibway from Timiskaming First Nations in northern Quebec. He was raised between his grandfather’s farm on the reserve, and downtown Toronto.  His traditional name is Ahnahnsisi (Duck With Many Wings), and he also holds the Blackfoot name Makoyi-Maahkaa .  He has been adopted into the Beaver Clan of the Nisga’a, and learned carving techniques in that tradition.   After many years in Vancouver, he now resides in Lethbridge. 

Though traditionally trained in the Woodland style of painting and carving by his Uncles per his tradition, Don is infinitely influenced by the current rhythms and themes that surround him.  His indepth study of the Law, both Western and Indigenous, continues to inform the thematic threads of his work. Don consistently juxtaposes the recognizable style of his people with the politics of land on which he lives, and the systems affecting the society within which he operates.  He combines traditional forms and colors with challenging themes and ironic humour, to create a distinct yet comfortingly familiar painting style.

Don McIntyre holds a BA from York University, and completed his LLB, JD, MLaw, and an almost PhDLaw at UBC,  He is currently a professor of Indigenous Business and Governance at ULeth.  His artwork is included in public and private collections across North America.

His art practice is housed at the lovely McNally Studios.

Date:November 20th, 2021  -  January 15th, 2022


Location:Casa - Concourse Gallery

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The cover of the Spring/Summer 2024 Casa Program Guide with a marigold cover and paper flower collage.

Casa Program Guide

The Casa Program Guide is produced three times a year; Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall. Inside the guide find listings for the upcoming class and workshop schedule, upcoming exhibitions at The Gallery, information about artists in residence and seasonal events in the building. Program guides are free. Pick-up guides at Casa or at facilities throughout the city.