(ANNews) – The striking image on the cover of the April 2021 edition of Alberta Native News is by Rick Noname, a traditional artist who was raised with traditional values in the Piapot First Nations.
The painting is in honour of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls across Turtle Island and their loved ones. The imagery contained in the painting is strong and sombre with the ghostly figure floating in space, the crimes taking place in the light of day, the skull in the grassland signifying death and the great spirit inside a medicine shield overlooking all of North America – both Canada and the United States.
The red hands portray solidarity with the missing and murdered women and their families. The strong images of the horse, the staff, the eagle feathers and the teepee signify the importance of Indigenous culture and values.
May 5 is the National Day for the Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls across Canada. Check your local listings to see what activities are taking place – virtually or in person in your area.
Rick says that his artistic abilities allow him to express his understanding of the spiritual aspects of his culture. “Through imagery,” he says, “I can give some of what was lost in my culture, back to all generations to share.”
Rick has been a contributing artist to the pages of Alberta Native News for over 30 years. In fact, he was one of the first artists to help shape the newspaper.
Each of his paintings is an expression of his philosophy. “I put an Eagle Feather in every one of my paintings,” explains Rick. “The power of the eagle feather can be felt when it’s gently resting in your hand, gliding slowly through the air. The eagle feather is just as powerful as the eyes. Hold the eagle feather in front of yourself and feel the delicate balance that the feather creates as it cuts through the air. Look at the eagle feather and let your mind soar.”
Native Spirituality strikes interest in people all over the world, notes Noname, who has paintings in Europe, Japan and the Philippines, as well as Canada and the U.S. “The beauty of the spiritual way is that there is great beauty in the Native way of life.”
Rick wants to share his culture and artistic knowledge to the younger generation to ensure “that it is not lost, like so many of our teachings. Today we have freedom to express our views about our culture, and I express myself best through art.”
To contact Rick, email [email protected].