Research with community action
This summer I was asked to visit with a group of youth painting a mural to be placed along Highway One on the Neskonlith Indian Band, near Chase BC. This meeting was to help provide some insight into which traditional tattoos should be used in the mural. After meeting with this amazing group of Secwepemc youth and leaving some information with them I could not wait to see the mural when it was done.
Here are some pictures of the mural, a powerful statement about the Secwepemc peoples right to their land and territory. Also an example of how research into the symbolic and visual culture of Indigenous peoples works to empower the youth of today and give them back these powerful symbols.
This mural is an example of the way that Indigenous scholarship can operate in communities by returning the knowledge collected by ethnographers and historians back into communities. These tattoo designs no longer site on a shelf printed in ink on a page but they are visible to all who pass by on their travels through Secwepemc territory.