The Longest Journey

Dawn Marie Marchand

During a workshop introducing the Cree Creation Story artist, DAWN MARIE MARCHAND was inspired by Elder Jo-Ann Saddleback’s teaching about the journey from the head to the heart and how sometimes the journey from head knowledge to heart knowledge seems to be hardest one:

kiyas ago, I met an old lady at a meeting where nokum was in Kehewin. All the kids knew each other and were playing a game but I was shy. So I watched them. She had a sandwich for me and sat with me. She started to tell me about a journey we must all make. We can sit and watch. We can read. We can memorize all the rules but that is just the beginning of the journey. From there we must walk it out and in walking it out we find out what it really takes to do something. That head knowledge must travel to being heart knowledge. Once it is heart knowledge then you truly understand, and it changes you. You do not go back to the way it was before. I believe she was encouraging me be bold and start playing the game. I had studied long enough. I have since heard about that journey many times.

This interactive installation asks people to take their own journey from the Head to the Heart by understanding local Indigenous history and its affects on the Indigenous peoples here today.

Artist Bios

Dawn Marie Marchand comes from Cold Lake First Nation in Treaty Six territory. cîpêhcakwawêw-iskwêw (Blue Horse Spirit Woman) is a celebrated Cree and Metis artist, educator, advocate, author, writer, speaker, and mother. Dawn Marie’s work includes groundbreaking innovation in assisting at-risk youth with art integration combining art, culture and curriculum to get young people plugged into their own learning. Dawn Marie has created safe spaces for youth to confront and deal with trauma. Dawn has continued advocating for art, language and cultural programs to help heal and help Indigenous people.

Dawn Marie Marchand (cîpêhcakwawêw-iskwêw-Blue Horse Spirit Woman) is a member of Cold Lake First Nation and is a Cree and Metis Artist who is no stranger to Indigenous issues and activism. Recently, she held the position of the inaugural Indigenous Artist in Residence for the City of Edmonton.  As a student of the Boreal Forest Institute, she met and was in studio with some great teachers and mentors who continue to influence her work. She has spent many years using her artistic abilities to work with at-risk youth through art integration, helping them express their knowledge, and creating safe spaces to confront and heal from trauma. She believes that art is a necessary tool to help people.  It is essential to cultural surveillance and revitalization.

Barry Bilinsky is an Alberta-based theatre artist of Metis/Cree descent originally from Edmonton, Alberta in Treaty 6 territory. His work spans several disciplines, as a theatre Director, Writer, and Clown-based Performer, as well as along the spectrum of community driven projects to professional theatre. Barry is the Artistic Director of Fool Spectrum Theatre, a clown-based theatre company in Alberta, as well as an Artistic Associate with Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society, Alberta Aboriginal Arts, and the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society. A graduate of the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Arts program, Barry focuses on creating work with diverse communities through various art disciplines.

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Rossdale community park (Across from Telus Field)
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