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Death, War and Sacred Spaces
Woman artist, Métis ancestry, educator, story-teller, Aboriginal women's history, beadwork, book, one-of-a kind, bound mixed-media book, September 11.01, sacred place, evil, spirits, traditional story, Aboriginal story, disaster, community, juxtaposing images, oral tradition, evocative, record keeping, death, war

Sept 11 On the day of September 11, 2001 Sherry Farrell Racette was stranded in an airport in Missouri. She heard on news reports that rescue groups were unable to find many bodies after the disaster in New York City. This report reminded her of a traditional Aboriginal story and the seed for this book was planted. In the traditional story a whole community was mercilessly killed. The bodies and blood disappeared and red flowers grew “’every place innocent blood had been shed.’  In its aftermath, people who visited this place ‘would say a prayer and leave a little tobacco to honour the spirits of the people who died there. The spirits were stronger than the evil that killed them. It was a sacred place.’"  (Martin, 2002)

additional resources Things to Think About
  • Can you think of other traditional stories, myths and legends that could be juxtaposed with events in contemporary society? Is it true that history repeats itself?
Studio Activity References

Martin, Lee-Ann.  Illustrative Images, Sherry Farrell Racette.  Exhibition catalogue.  MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, 2002.

Palmer, Victoria.  ‘Rielisms.’  Artichoke, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2001.

Racette, Sherry Farrell, Calvin Racette, Charles Belhumeur.  Flags of the Métis.  Saskatchewan:  Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research, 1987.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning