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 artist chose this title to encompass the broader notion of acceptance and inclusion of differences, in the spirit of Respect, Unity and Peace.
This exhibition was produced by Vox: centre de l’image contemporaine in partnership with Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace and Obx Labs with financial support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec, 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 Community Fund for Canada’s 150th. The exhibition tour benefits from financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts.