This piece, "Spirits Mourn Where the Cowboy Was Born", is reflective and contemplative of the way indigenous peoples around the world have been and continue to be treated. It was inspired by a woman whose entire life revolved around the atrocities committed against her mother in residential schools. This woman felt ashamed of her life and felt as if no one would understand - but life was nonetheless given to her, and life is a blessing which should never be pitied. This piece is for the missing First Nations girls and women who were buried without a tombstone, without receiving their redemption from the brutal experiences they were forced into; the native women of our country and all other countries in this world, for being the constant minority; for the generations affected by the dehumanization which was the residential school system; this collage piece is for the victims everywhere of cultural assimilation, discrimination, and genocide. The bruises are still present. The pain from the past is still shaping the future. 

Quoted in image: 

"Humanity is outraged in me and with me. We must not dissimilate nor try to forget this indignation which is one of the most passionate forms of love." (George Sand), "Let me remind you of the loss of population... it is too late." "Settlers destroyed a native empire; dispossessed the native people of lands, waters, and living resources." "Throw the map away. Get lost." "A gang of poachers can do huge damage in a very short time." "Spirits mourn where the cowboy was born." "There are no simple solutions." "Discover your peace but not your quiet - screaming defiance." "Tomorrow is our day."

Made with 100% reused and recycled materials; black and coloured pen; watercolour background; all drawn freehand.

Published by Shannon Griffiths