I’m Only Going to Show You Once, Now You Try
Alyssa ‘Sikapinakii’ Duck Chief
January 17 – March 6
Stride Gallery Project Space
1006 Macleod Tr SE, lower level
“I’m only going to show you once, now you try,” was a phrase the artist Alyssa ‘Sikapinakii’ Duck Chief grew up with, often embellishing the beginning of the lessons and teachings of cultural values taught by father-figures. These strict lessons were only shown once, and they could not ask how to do it again, or for further help. Although these were tough lessons, the artist has found the value in each teaching that made a positive impact on their life as a young Indigenous person who grew up without a father.
In this exhibition, Duck Chief explores deep traumas of a ruptured family circle in the hopes of healing themselves through the medium of photography, text, and storytelling. The healing process finds its corpus in photographing and re-telling the stories of family members who have acted as father figures to them, like their mother, step-father, uncles, male cousins, and grandfathers. Weaving in and out of intimate reveal and opacities, the artist offers a sharing and storytelling with the visitors in an evolving, durational installation setting.
Alyssa ‘Sikapinakii’ Duck Chief, an emerging artist, is a member of the Siksika First Nation which is apart of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Southern Alberta. In the spring of 2019, Duck Chief graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in drawing with distinction from the Alberta University of the Arts. Having lived in Mohkinstsis (Calgary) since they were ten years old, they now reside on the reservation of Siksika Nation in hopes of passing on artist knowledge to the younger generation. The work Duck Chief creates deals with their own identity, the Blackfoot Culture, stories told, and even indigenous issues in North America. Drawing allows a platform for their voice as a indigenous person, as well as discussing the culture, history, and issues that go on in indigenous communities. With their overall practices, they aim to educate the non-indigenous about the Blackfoot people in hopes that it will create a comfortable setting for all. This is crucial as a young indigenous person, they have a engrained purpose to tell their story and the stories of their people.
Stride Gallery is located in Mohkinstsis, the traditional territories of Treaty 7 people. Our activities take place on the land that was, for a long time, stewarded and cared for by the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Iyarhe/Stoney Nakoda people comprising the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
Stride Gallery is partially accessible – the Main Space is wheelchair accessible, while the washrooms and the Project Space are not.
Photo Documentation by Chelsea Yang-Smith.