by Jason Botkin
Churchill, Canada – June 2017
A photo of caribou carcasses lying on the side of Little Duck Lake sparked a series of disastrous choices that nearly wiped out Manitoba's Sayisi Dene.
Painted on the surface of an abandoned military radar base from the 70s, my mural is an homage to Camp 10, and the Sayisi Dene First Nation Aboriginal peoples of Canada, who were forcibly relocated to Churchill around the time this base was operational. A tragic and too largely unknown chapter in Canada's sordid history with its indigenous population.
Featured here are a couple of stylized caribou antlers, carried away in a river of 'ribbons.' Hands of a skeletal figure offered up in prayer. According to the Manitoba Government, the tragic decision to relocate the Dene community at Duck Lake was due to incorrect assumptions from wildlife officials about the impact of the Dene's traditional hunting practices on what was, in fact, a healthy caribou herd.