Sechanalyagh (Thank You)

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VIDEO:

Sechanalyagh was created in 2010-2011 with the support of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. The project was based on my wish to better understand my native territory and language (Tsilhqot’in nation, specifically Anaham reserve). Several trips were taken to Anaham reserve to document the land during different seasons of the year. A family member took me to several sacred spaces which is included in the video documentation. The glass panel has Tsilhqot’in words etched into it. The text is a translation of a poem written based on my trips up to my home nation. The translation was provided by several language teachers from the Tsilhqot’in. The projection on to the glass allows the text to shadow onto the wall and video. The viewer is encouraged to walk throughout the space, when entering the throw area of the video projection there is a moment where land, language and self are one. This project was shown at the Atrium gallery at Kwantlen College University.

Poem Translation:

Sechanalyagh (Thank-You)

It’s outside where you find your family.
Down near the water. In the fields.
It’s great-grandmother sleeping under mountains.
That school was no good.
(Some people say it was okay).

Bring me home for summer.
Even my mother did.
It’s out here where grandpa built us a fire.
Every night, his grandchildren.
It’s in the ground, where we hold our stories.

All of our dreams?
In the river.

We are moving, always moving.
We are breathing.
This is how I breathe.

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