"We Are Still Here" Union Station Exhibit

From June 8 until October 31, Union Station and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund present ‘We Are Still Here’ with support from TD in the West Wing and Oak Room of Union Station. This exhibition is a mix of new and reworked original pieces by Artist Ambassador Blake Angeconeb. The exhibit features a portrait of Gord Downie titled ‘The Man Who Walks Among The Stars’ which will be gifted to the Downie family.

Oak Room - “Eighth Fire”

In Anishinaabe oral history, there is a prophecy that eight fires will be lit by prophets of the Anishinaabe Nation with the final one bringing a new world of peace and love. It is said that this fire is ignited by a leader representing the youth. As such, this room is an homage to the next generation of Indigenous resistance and resiliency, our children and youth. In the last three years, we grieved the uncovering of unmarked graves and children lost to the genocide of residential schools. While my initial impulse was to channel anger into my art, I discovered solace and healing by creating artwork that uplifts and embodies the vitality and strength of our young people. “We Are Still Here” is a reminder that despite the attempts to “Kill The Indian in the Child”, our culture persists and thrives. Our children continue to wear the traditional regalia, celebrate, and dance in the way that was at one point illegal. “Sharing” is the transmission of sacred teachings through story telling from our traditional knowledge keepers to our children and youth, a continuum that starts from birth. “A Child’s Imagination” is dedicated to my son and the future I envision for him. I want him to understand that our culture is not static - it transcends time and is also a reflection of modern life as we experience it. During these crucial times for our children, young people need to feel seen and empowered. Art speaks to them in a universal language that inspires their imagination, gives them hope for the future, and the tools to build a path forward.

Main Hall - “Mino Bimaadiziwin”

In Anishinaabemowin, “Mino Bimaadiziwin” means to live a good life. It is not only a saying, it is a way of conducting oneself. In my practice, I strive to put out good energy through artistic interpretations that evoke humour, conversation, observation, and reflection. As we walk our life paths, we note and experience moments, people, events, and issues - as individuals and as a community. Many of these experiences may have passed some while others lived through them profoundly. A reiteration of that event in the style of woodlands art may cause one to view and experience it differently. The art communicates across all walks of life to facilitate common ground for us to relate to one another in a good way. As we find our footing in our paths, it is with hope that this collection paves way for deeper connections, more colourful conversations, and a new outlook on how we live “Mino Bimaadiziwin”.