Kim Stewart

Canadian Métis Artist

aboriginal research

Urban Indigenous hide tanning Emily Carr University!

teaching, Traditional IndigenousKim StewartComment

The Aboriginal Gathering Place (APG) at Emily Carr University (ECU) is a real community asset! I enjoyed my week-long residency in this amazing space for students, faculty and staff to connect in community. AGP is a modern studio with high ceilings, roll-up garage door and several zones set up for academic work, studio work, food prep, and relaxation. Post-modern couches mix with drum-inspired side tables next to several staff, alumni and Elder created art pieces. I was blown away by the thoughtful preparations made for me by Brenda Crabtree (Director, Aboriginal Programming), the assistance I received from tool expert and artist Lawrence Lowe, and the ever-attentive Michelle Sound, (Aboriginal Program Assistant) who shared tea from her private stash. Countless students, faculty and staff came by to work alongside me and sneek a peek at hide tanning activities including the stomach-turning concoction of moose brains, sunlight bar soap and lard warmed to perfection on a camp stove, then applied to the hide to soften it. Stories were shared, connections were made and most importantly, endangered traditional knowledge was transferred to the community. It was a challenge and a joy to adapt the traditional, wilderness-y activities of deer hide tanning to an urban environment, one I’d be glad to take on again.

You can read more residency details on the ECU website: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2018/a-m%C3%A9tis-artist-brings-traditional-tanning-to-ecu

Cowboys & Indians Research Project: 1920's silent film,"Daughter of Dawn"

my opinionsKim Stewart1 Comment
Indians on horseback
Indians on horseback

Reposted from Art4life Wordpress blog:

As part of my ongoing research into cowboy and indian pop culture for my Canada Council Grant, I watched this show with great interest. It had an all Native cast along with some amazingly well trained horses. I was very impressed with the riding - especially the scene where they do the buffalo chase on horseback with each rider using only a blanket and a 'thong' bit made from braided leather or deer hide for tack.

I paid particular attention to the clothing and personal objects. Although it seemed to me that there were a lot of headdresses in each scene, there were also interesting pipes, spears and tomahawks that appeared to be authentic. In one scene where 'Red Wing' enters her teepee to cry there is an amazing backrest partially covered in buffalo hide. According to Wikipedia - each actor wore their own clothes and brought their own belongings, including tepees.

For a time this movie was only rumoured to exist until it surfaced via a private investigator who had been paid for a job with the film. The US National Film Registry has since designated 'Daughter of Dawn' as historically significant and you can now watch the restored film on Netflix.