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Skawennati: Teiakwanahstahsontéhrha’ | We Extend the Rafters

March 16, 2019 - May 5, 2019


Born in Kahnawa:ke Mohawk Territory, Skawennati creates Indigenous virtual environments addressing history, the future and change.  Teiakwanahstahsontéhrha’ | We Extend the Rafters frames the machinima The Peacemaker Returns, a futuristic saga set in 3025, yet firmly rooted in the ancestral Haudenosaunee confederation story. This machinima is an animation-style film produced on the virtual reality platform Second Life.  The Peacemaker Returns was designed specifically for children aged 5 to 11 but visitors of all ages are invited to explore traditions and imagine the world of tomorrow in this “museum of the future.”

The bilingual title of the exhibition—in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) and in English—refers to the action of “extending the rafters” of a longhouse. These traditional Indigenous structures would be lengthened to make room for new generations or even other families. The title chosen by the artist therefore encompasses the broader notion of acceptance and inclusion of differences, in the spirit of Respect, Unity and Peace.

Organized and circulated by VOX centre de l’art contemporaine, Teiakwanahstahsontéhrha’ | We Extend the Rafters was and produced in partnership with Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) and Obx Labs, this exhibition benefits from the financial support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications and the City of Montreal under the Agreement on the Cultural Development of Montreal, as well as the Caisse de la Culture of the Mouvement Desjardins. This initiative is also made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Canada’s community foundations, Foundation of Greater Montréal, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.