Dawn Marie Marchand artwork unveiled at Edmonton City Hall

Artist Dawn Marie Marchand.

by Deidre Thomas

(ANNews) – Dawn Marie Marchand is a Cree and Metis artist who was honoured in June, 2023 for her incredible artwork that is permanently displayed at Edmonton City Hall. Marchand is one of four Indigenous artists whose artwork now lives in the city council chambers.

As a part of the The City of Edmonton’s Indigenous Framework, Marchand’s piece is a part of a collection of completed artworks that embody how City leaders and staff should strive to honour the spirit of kinship, the Indigenous Framework roles and commitments, and how to be a good relative to each other and to the land.

“I’m grateful that there was a well-rounded engagement process,” says Marchand.  “The intent of the artwork is for City staff to put these teachings into practice in the workplace.”

Dawn Marie Marchand is a member of Cold Lake First Nation in Treaty Six territory. cîpêhcakwawêw-iskwêw (Blue Horse Spirit Woman).  In mid 2019, she relocated to Smoky Lake, Alberta and has had work installed at Concordia College, Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre, Stanley Milner EPL, PÎYÊSÎW WÂSKÂHIKAN.

She also had her work projected as part of Dreamspeakers Light Strikes in numerous locations including Dubai and has recently had work projected as part of the Land Acknowledgement during the Junos celebrations in 2023. She was the artist consultant for Punctuate! Theatre’s ​“First Métis Man of Odessa” which is currently touring nationwide.

Passionate about equality and opportunities for her community, Marchand continues to advocate for removing systemic barriers for Indigenous artists across Canada. She has worked with urban youth through art integration and her community collaboration work has been featured at events such as the Edmonton Folk Festival, the Works International Visual Arts Festival Big Tent and Rubaboo Festival.

In 2016, Marchand created thought provoking, emotional art as a personal tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women.  Visitors had the opportunity to walk through the pop-art exhibition and take in one of her pieces called “Prayers for my Sisters.”  The installation included 12 birch sticks, each with ribbons, marking the Cree colours of Treaty 6 territory.

 “I’ve had my own personal life touched by violence. I could very easily have been one of these women,” said Marchand.

As the first ever Indigenous artist in residence for the City of Edmonton during the time of the pop-up, she intended that her art would stop to make visitors think of the horrific violence against Indigenous women and girls across the country.

Marchand was recently the artist consultant for Punctuate! Theatre’s ​“First Métis Man of Odessa” which is currently touring nationwide.

To learn more about Dawn Marie Marchand and her art, visit https://www.dawnmariemarchand.net/

Deidre Thomas is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.

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