My work speaks to Indigenous futurisms and to questioning the “speculative” of speculative narrative. I have been raised with an understanding that our science fiction is not science fiction, but rather science fact, recognizing as Anishinaabekwe and Métis that our traditional stories pass on vital teachings that will unravel healing for the world. Acceptance of gender fluidity is an aspect of healing.
The Tiptree Fellowship offered support and encouragement for me to complete the experimental stop motion animation “Hands to the Sky” set to music by the Métis Fiddler Quartet. The animation follows fallout from oil extraction and transforms into healing brought by people who live in fluidity. The people who come by spacecanoe to sing to heal the waters on Earth travel from another world where all people understand that transformation and rearrangement is simply apart of the circle. They bring with them songs that carry frequencies that can lift oil from the waters and breathe life back into the places harmed by oil processes like SAG-D.
While these aspects of the story are very nuanced in my work, the Tiptree Fellowship gives me space to amplify my voice and reach people who are interested in the clearer details that echo the symbolism in my non-linear animations.
I animate from hand drawings, cut outs, and beadwork. Copper, shells, beads, and bone interconnect with water, plants, and sky. Many scenes are simultaneously real and digital, a mix of textures and truths. The process can be physically grueling but knowing that people would see the work thanks to the Tiptree Fellowship kept me going through the months.
I am grateful that we are living in a spacetime where this story can be told and interpreted. And ultimately, the meaning is in the meaning you make.