April 10, 2023

Sackville Blog 4

Who to Represent and How? There are multiple groups of inhabitants that lived, worked, and prospered in the Tantramar area. How do I represent them? Which images should I choose and what aspects to depict? This was a constant dialogue in my mind.

Let’s begin with First Nations who were the first inhabitants of this area. There aren’t very many photographs that I could access. It was very difficult to get images and enough information so I could represent this group suitably.


How should I represent First Nations people so that the images convey a sense of their culture, their lifestyle, and how they co-existed with other settlers and helped them get adjusted to the new land.  You can see my dilemma.


Their main mode of transportation was the birchbark canoe. I created a canoe with clay, underglazes,and glazes. This, to me, was a more interesting, creative, and artistic way of depicting how the Mi’kmaq traveled.

Birchbark Canoe - crafted in clay by artist Indu Varma

I got some excellent images from various sources - Bernard LeBlanc, retired curator of Musée Acadien at Universitéde Moncton, and some from Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia.


Fortunately, the librarian at Sackville Public Library, Patricia Knockwood belongs to Fort Folly First Nations. I showed these images to her to make sure I was portraying the Mi’kmaq people authentically


Here is an image of Mi’kmaq basket weaving transferred on a ceramic tile. The original image came from Bernard LeBlanc.

Mi'kmaq Basket Weaving
Mi'kmaq Basket - Bernard LeBlanc

Here is an image of aMi’kmaq woman with a pointed hat. Apparently, as Patricia explained to me, the women with high status in Mi’kmaq society would wear a pointed hat.

Mi'kmaq Woman
Mi'kmaq Woman Seated - Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia

The Mi’kmaq women werevery skilled in creating beautiful moccasins with bead work. Here’s an image ona ceramic tile and the original from Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia.

Child's Moccasins with Bead Work

Here is the original image from Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia.

Child's Moccasins with Beadwork - Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia

This blog gives a glimpse of Just a few of the images I selected to represent the culture and lifestyle of Mi’kmaq people. I invite you to go through the virtual exhibit to view and read about many more images that portray the First Nations people of this area.

January 3, 2024

Highlights of 2023

2023 was a year filled with creativity, art exhibitions, donations, and much more. The public art installation 'Sackville: A Visual Snapshot' was unveiled in February and a virtual tour can be done now from this website. Personal growth meant taking online courses and attending workshops.

April 18, 2023

Sackville Blog 5

How do I depict a group of settlers that lived here in the 17th and 18th century? Representing the Acadians proved to be quite challenging. I couldn’t find images that would tell the story of Acadians and depict their existence in the Tantramar area. There are some paintings by some artists, but not actual photographs.