Michael Nicoll YahgulanaasSaturday, July 07, 2007
When I first came to Vancouver some 32 years ago I was full of the wrong information of race. I was from a generation of the red man, the Chinaman, and thought the Japanese had yellow skin. I was astounded to find out that native Canadians looked exactly like the natives of Mexico except they did not understand my Spanish.
You are seeing tomorrow's blog today because I will be in Lillooet today and tomorrow Saturday. My daugther Ale has no internet connection yet. One of her ambitions in Lillooet is to be able to teach native Canadians. My Mexican born daughter has such a connection with her country that I think she will do fine.
I wrote in the past of my excitement in watching Karen Jamieson and her rare but exciting blend of modern dance with Native Canadian dance. I want to happily report that Michael Nicol Yahgulanaas seems to be doing the same thing with the visual arts. I photographed him last week (in preparation for this coming Tuesday's opening at the Museum of Anthropology) with one piece from a series called Coppers from the Hood. This particular one (a beautifully painted and with a copper leaf inlay) is a car hood that tells the story of two sisters. I chose, on purpose not to show any totem poles or any other Native Canadian artifacts.
I enjoyed Michael's personality and I think his work will help to bring some humour and lift some of the formality that so many of us seem to want to feel when exposed to this art. My b+w photograph does not do justice to the lovely tones of the copper leaf but the false colour does give an idea of what it would be like.