A still from the performance Grieving with the Land. An indigenous woman is standing in a pool of water. She has a sheer white fabric she is holding on top of the water. Projected onto the sheer fabric, water and her body is an image of the water and sunset back home (Wabasca).

Exhibition Info

Oct 1 - Nov 5, 2022
10572 115 st, Edmonton, AB T5H 3K6

Wed-Fri | 12pm – 6pm
Sat | 12pm – 5pm

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An exhibition by Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ

SNAP is pleased to present Nehiyaw Isko ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ, an exhibition by Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ in the gallery from October 1 – November 5, 2022.

Nehiyaw Isko ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ presents the work of Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ (Bigstone Cree Nation) and speaks to her identity as an Indigenous femme. This show presents two performance works: Cahkipêhikan and Grieving with the Land. Through the act of reclamation Cheyenne speaks to both the past and the present, exploring song, language, and grief.

Opening Reception: Join us for an opening reception for Just add oil; I feel cold. and Nehiyaw Isko ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ, on October 1, Saturday from 7-9PM. A performance by Cheyenne Rain LeGrande will take place on October 1 at 7:30PM until 7:45PM. Admission is free and by drop in, and masking is highly encouraged.

Closing Reception: A closing reception for Just add oil; I feel cold. and Nehiyaw Isko ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ will be held on Friday, November 4, from 7-9PM. A performance by Kev Liang will take place on November 4 from 7:30PM until 8:30PM. Admission is free and by drop in, and masking is highly encouraged.

A still from the performance "Cahkipêhikan". An Indigenous woman stares at the camera wearing two pink clips in her hair. She has blue Nehiyaw (Cree) syllabics drawn on her face. Projected on her face and the wall is Nehiyaw Syllabics meaning: Mosum and Kokum.

Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ is a Nehiyaw Isko artist, from Bigstone Cree Nation. She currently resides in Amiskwaciy Waskahikan also known as Edmonton, Alberta. Cheyenne graduated from Emily Carr University with her BFA in Visual Arts in 2019. Her work often explores history, knowledge and traditional practices. Through the use of her body and language, she speaks to the past, present and future. Cheyenne’s work is rooted in the strength to feel, express and heal. Bringing her ancestors with her, she moves through installation, photography, video, sound, and performance art.

Grieving with the Land, 2021
Water, projection of the lands back home, sheer fabric

Nehiyaw Femmes and Cahkipêhikanak Stabilize the Universe
Exhibition Response by Emily Riddle 

“If I admired my own abundances, my own little rebellions against subjugation, I reasoned, I could learn to be as alive as possible It seemed silly I hadn’t come to this conclusion sooner.” 

– Billy-Ray Belcourt, A Minor Chorus 

Cahkipêhikanak are our spirit markers. They were thrown into the sky and continue to stabilize the universe, a universe that is home to a planet that loves us so much she keeps us close through gravity. And yet, on this planet as Nehiyaw femmes, we have been stripped of so much authority, and of our language, the proper container to enact our rightful responsibilities, of embodying our own modes of grief and joy. Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ shows us through Nehiyaw Isko ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ, tells us it will be okay, as long as we have Nehiyaw femmes and Cahkipêhikanak to stabilize the universe, our universe. 

For me, it is particularly moving to see Cheyenne perform with Cahkipêhikanak drawn on her body, to see her immersed in water and to invite us into both those experiences, with song, sounds of the universe. Nipiy. Kimiwan. Piyêsiw. Wîcihinân. She calls on me to ask what it means to grieve with the land, with the water. Even when we hear this immense grief, we still know we are loved so unconditionally by the land and water that recognizes us. For so many for whom Nehiyawewin is our ancestral language, it feels so far from us (to speak it) but also intimately a part of our body. 

People for whom Nehiyawewin is not an ancestral language seem to innately understand the beauty of Cahkipêhikanak. The wooden syllabics throughout the space and lovingly drawn on Cheyenne’s body are Nehiyaw beauty. The song Cheyenne sings to her Mosum and Kokum are Nehiyaw beauty. Dr. Lana Whiskeyjack interviewed Elder Alsena White about Nehiyaw conceptions of beauty for her doctoral thesis. In a video in her first language, Nehiyawewin Alsena shares that, “what creator gave us is beauty. Our Creator gave us everything to have a good life. We are supposed to have a good life”. How wonderful that this good life includes artwork by Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ, that keeps in this tradition of living in our own abundances, our own containers for grief, our own little rebellions.

SNAP is happy to provide this programming at no cost to participants.

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