C Magazine

Trauma as Monument

I was very young when I heard about the death of Neil Stonechild, but I remember the story well and I remember how it unravelled for years after. I did not know Neil, but we were both from Treaty 6 territory. We were only a few years apart in age and living in urban centres, with roots in rural First Nations within the territory. There is no doubt in my core that we encountered the same systemic and structural barriers imposed upon Indigenous people that, with age, I have had the opportunity to name and frame. He did not have that opportunity.

Almost 30 years later, in March 2019, I read reporting the vandalism of (2019), a sculptural installation by Rebecca Belmore and Osvaldo Yero. The sculptural installation, made of ice, is in memory of Neil Stonechild. Accompanying the installation is a text:

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