The first monograph of Canadian Plains Cree artist Meryl McMaster whose work reflects her mixed Plains Cree, Dutch and British ancestry. The publication looks back to McMaster’s past accomplishments and bring us up to date on her current explorations of family histories, in particular those of her Plains Cree female forebears from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in present day Saskatchewan. Meryl McMaster (b. 1988) has embarked on a deep reckoning with her family’s history in southern Saskatchewan, in particular on the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, northwest of Saskatoon. Her research has centred on the lives and experiences of three women in her family: her great-great-grandmother Mathilda “Tilly” Schmidt, her great-grandmother Isabella “Bella” Wuttunee, and her grandmother Lena McMaster.
Bound up in these narratives are the colonial abuses of the day: the challenges of reserve life, of residential and day school experiences, the outlawing of the Sundance, the 1885 Northwest Resistance, and the 1885 mass hanging of eight Plains Cree men in Battleford, SK-the largest mass hanging in Canadian history, which students from the Battleford Industrial Schools were forced to witness.
Published by The Magenta Foundation in partnership with McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Remai Modern. A lavishly illustrated testimonial to McMaster’s past and present production, the book includes a foreword by Buffy Sainte-Marie, poem by Louise B. Halfe, an interview with the artist by Sarah Milroy, as well as a response to McMaster’s work from noted Métis writer, filmmaker, and activist Maria Campbell, a respected senior voice in Canadian literature.