In 1877 we signed Treaty 6 at Blackfoot Crossing, our ancestors made the short journey to make Treaty with the crown amidst a time of great turmoil at this place of intersecting relationships.
At a time when participating in the Canadian colonial project would have been considered an interdisciplinary experience, this Treaty created the opportunity to continue our quests as Nehiyawak in coming to know who we are by affirming our inherent connections and relationships to the universe that are unbounded by the heteropatriarchy and gendered systems of oppression that is the Canadian settler colonial project.
We have the right to express ourselves and experience this journey even where it meets at the intersection of hyphenated identities.
This collection is curated by Okimaw Apistaw/Elijah Buffalo, the younger brother of Preston Buffalo and it is intended to decolonize our participation in the Treaty relationship we have with the Canadian settler colonial project. This is a demonstration of our shared and individual identities as descendants of leaders, healers, artists, and storytellers who are both utilizing the gifts we have been given to express our journeys of resurgence: Preston as a Nehiyaw-2Spirit man and me as a cis-hetero Nehiyaw.
Preston's work is a reflection of my work as I am heavily influenced by the vision and spirit that is imbued within his art, and the symbols, stories, and function created are a living record of ceremony.
Through Treaty we are ensured economic participation and benefit and this does not have to be tied to the settler system nor does it need to depend on it. This collection is an example of how art is always an act of resurgence and so we have facilitated the use of NFTs in this gallery to transform our relationship with the settler economy, and the pieces here are given symbolic prices to represent the multi-dimensional existence we experience.
If you choose to participate with this art it can be acquired by purchasing SOONIYAS, a native token on the Cardano blockchain that is valued at 1 SOONIYAS to 7 ADA.
To obtain SOONIYAS send ADA to the SOONIYAS exchange
PrestoNFTs can be obtained by sending SOONIYAS to
When received the PrestoNFT will be sent to the buyer's wallet.
This piece was selected because it is similar to the art that I produce that focuses on the Interdimensional window, the hole in the sky/Pleiades/7 Sisters, that is overlayed on these intersecting places of identity and connection to land. Existing all at once, this piece provides the vantage point of energy in the spirit world, observing our home in Maskwacis at the top where we grew up and experienced life, love, and trauma. Below is the head smashed in buffalo jump, a representation to our connection to the land and found in our name. The wide-open skies of our homeland are woven throughout this image and the starblanket design is connecting the intersecting realities together to reveal the interdimensionality that we experience and are in relation to.
I placed a value of 7777 SOONIYAS to represent the symbolism and power of the number 7 and it’s connection to our creation story and it is repeated 4 times to symbolize the 4 directions.
The buffalo was the central to our material culture, at one time providing us with a sustainable economy and defined who we are as a people by following the buffalo and building and maintaining our relationships with the land and with neighboring nations. As we are in a digital age, we see many of the gifts that sustain us come to us via digital methods and that is what this piece represents to me. In curating this piece I added the animation of the circuit board illumination, and I see this piece as representing my brother and I, each on our own journeys but connected nonetheless, and utilizing the buffalo in nascent and innovative ways.
I placed a value of 1877 SOONIYAS to represent the year we adhered to and signed Treaty 6.
This piece is highly personal to my brother’s struggle with being 2-spirit in this colonial system. It represents a lot of the trauma and loss he has endured. With the syringe placed front and centre and the mirroring of images it tells a story of what has happened and what could happen.
I have placed a value of 139 SOONIYAS to represent the 139 Residential Schools in Canada.
This is a UV photograph of the neighborhood Preston lives in. His work with UV photography tells such an interesting story of what is there that we can’t observe through our own worldview and perspective. This hidden spectrum of light and energy is one of the most important spiritual and scientific questions we have in understanding who we are and where we come from, as this confirms there exists a simultaneous overlay of dimensions and realities that we interact with on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.
I have valued this piece at 231 SOONIYAS to represent the 231 MMIWG and 2SLGBTQQIA Calls for Justice.
This is a series of 3 self-portraits with various imagery representing the features of Preston’s face. I chose this as his art is part of his journey in what some Indigenous cultures refer to as finding face. I animated these together into a GIF to show the ongoing cycle of identity and healing amidst intergenerational trauma.
I have valued this at 215 SOONIYAS to represent the first unmarked graves that were highlighted in the media. We always knew of these in our communities, and our father had to bury bodies at his Residential School in Edmonton.
This is another digital representation of our connection to the buffalo and our journey on this land.
I have valued this at 94 SOONIYAS to represent the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
In our culture there was a time we called the Dog Days, and it existed from the time the ice receded after the ice age up until the introduction of the horse in the 1500s. Dogs were, and remain, an important part of our culture and I selected this piece as it is a satirical approach to honouring this cultural connection that places a groomed poodle as the archetype. This represents an aesthetic that crosses the gendered stereotypic boundaries of what and who we are.
I valued this piece at 154 SOONIYAS to represent the 154 years since Canada was founded.