Sean Carleton Profile picture
Sep 7, 2017 25 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1 Here are some thoughts on @KentMonkman’s marvellous “Shame and Prejudice” exhibit in light of #cdnhist wars #johnamacdonald + #Canada150
2 I had the opportunity to check out the exhibit yesterday @Glenbow in #Calgary with my #MountRoyalUniversity colleagues
3 The exhibit launched in Jan in Toronto and is touring Canada for the next few years:
4 Shame and Prejudice aims to “activate a dialogue” about the impact of Canada’s 150 years of colonization on Indigenous ppls
5 Monkman uses evocative interdisciplinary art to address 150 years of Indigenous dispossession, starvation, incarceration, and genocide
6 The result is a hard-hitting, harrowing, and yet still hopeful exhibit + @kentmonkman emphasizes Indigenous resilience + resurgence
7 It should be mandatory viewing for all Canadians, all settlers in #Canada150 and beyond
8 One of the things that jumped out at me was the central role that #johnamacdonald plays in the exhibit #cdnhist
9 Monkman has said his goal is to challenge #cdnhist’s whitewashing of past to erase Indig ppl and lionize colonizers like #johnamacdonald
10 As a result, he confronts #johnamacdonald in three paintings and includes his quote about wanting to create res schools:
11 “When the schools is on the reserve, the child lives with its parents, who are savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his
12 habits and training mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. It has been strongly recommended to me
13, as head of the Department, that Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence, and the only way
14 to do that would be to put them in cent training industrial schools where they will acquire the habits + mode of thought of white men."
15 In terms of visual representation, #johnamacdonald is portrayed as a drunk and a tyrant, with blood on his shirt, not a hero
16 In Monkman’s “Daddies of Confederation,” #johnamacdonald looks shocked that he (+ Canada) is being called into question by Indig truth
17 In “The Subjugation of Truth” #johnamacdonald is seen playing role in coercing treaties to settle the west, note the chains at bottom
18 There is so much more to say about “Shame and Prejudice,” but it is interesting that Monkman’s exhibit, planned years ago,
19 speaks so powerfully to recent debates about Canada’s one-sided celebratory history and is confronting settlers, challenging us
20 to see “our” history from a different, Indigenous perspective that removes the glossy sheen applied to genocide
21 It is an opportunity to confront #Canada150 and Canada's colonial past, including JAM, that is so rarely discussed in the public realm.
22 Canadians need to go out of their way to check out this exhibit + grapple the past to make good on promises of #reconciliation
23 The exhibit is traveling Canada for the next few years. Next stop, Kingston 2018:
24. Many thanks to @KentMonkman and @Glenbow for putting on such an important and challenging exhibit for #Canada150
25 In 50 years, thanks to exhibits like this, there should be no #johnamacdonald schools – and JAM knows it. You can see it in his eyes.

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More from @SeanCarleton

Aug 10, 2018
1. With a twitter essay I wrote last year about confronting #JohnAMacdonald's controversial legacy with political cartoons from his OWN time making the rounds again, I wanted to offer a few new thoughts about "political correctness" + changing historical interpretation #cdnhist
2. I am currently reviewing a new book "Sketches from an Unquiet Country" for the Canadian Historical Review (CHR) that deals with political cartoons in #cdnhist:…
3. I came across an interesting example of how one artist, John Wilson Bengough, offered "politically correct," or changing interpretations, on the War of 1885 - waged by Canada with Macdonald as prime minister - through political cartoons. This is in a chapter by Robyn Fowler.
Read 9 tweets
Feb 28, 2018
1. As @blueravenart noted, it is unfortunate that @downiewenjack gets $5million in today's budget but the @NCTR_UM gets nothing.… #TRC #Indigenous #Budget2018
2. It is not that the Downie-Wenjack fund, and spaces for reflection and reconciliation, are bad - but we are still fighting for the truth BEFORE reconciliation: #TRC #Indigenous #Budget2018
3. At a time when anti-Indigenous racism is rampant, Sen. Beyak is beaking off accusing the TRC as fake news while opening and holding space for residential school deniers....… #Budget2018
Read 6 tweets

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