‘We need each other’: Sask. stone carver finds acceptance, love through his work | CBC News


Lyndon Tootoosis discovered the artwork of stone carving at a younger age, however it was via stone carving that he discovered about himself.

Tootoosis, a Cree artist and storyteller who’s a member of the Poundmaker Cree Nation, is a presenter throughout Saskatchewan Aboriginal Storytelling Month, which incorporates digital shows and workshops all through February. His presentation, Tales via Stone, takes place on Wednesday.

Tootoosis instructed Saskatchewan Weekend that he was round 12 years outdated when he started stone carving. At the moment, his father needed to learn to make pipes for ceremonies. An elder his father visited instructed him that stone carving was greatest discovered at a younger age.

By means of carving, Tootoosis was taught about respect and honour — one thing he weaves into his work at this time at his studio in his yard.

Tootoosis’ potential to carve stone into sculptures has come from over 27 years expertise working as an artist. (Submitted by Lyndon Tootoosis)

“I at all times have a fireplace going, I burn smudge after I begin, I pray with the rock,” he mentioned. “I do not simply carve birds and bears. I incorporate our tales and legends which have carried our individuals.”

Caught between two cultures

Tootoosis’ mom, a non-Indigenous girl from West Virginia, met his father, an Indigenous man, whereas he was working in a lumber mill in Montana.

Tootoosis mentioned the mixed cultures in his household brought about damage after they moved to Saskatchewan. Children on the college bus would tease him about his mom being non-Indigenous, whereas youngsters at college within the close by city of Reduce Knife would tease him about his father being Indigenous. It created “ugliness” inside him, he mentioned.

Saskatchewan Weekend15:20Stone carver Lyndon Tootoosis shares tales throughout Aboriginal Storytelling Month

Stone carver Lyndon Tootoosis has many tales to inform about his personal life and that of his household. He shares a few of these tales with host Shauna Powers and reminds us why love, acceptance and understanding are so vital. He is one of many featured friends throughout the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Storytelling month. Study extra at www.lssap.ca. 15:20

“My dad constructed [our] home on the south finish of the reserve as a result of on the time they did not desire a white girl residing on the reserve,” he mentioned.  

“You’d suppose I grew up prejudiced. Prejudice is if you hate one kind of human due to one particular factor. I hated everybody equally,” he mentioned with fun.

Overcoming the hate

Whilst he continued making pipes together with his father, Tootoosis mentioned it was arduous for Indigenous individuals to just accept him for who he was.

However he discovered to channel love via his stone carving work.

Tootoosis created this rock memorial to honour lacking and murdered Indigenous girls and ladies on the grounds of the RCMP Depot Division in Regina. (Submitted by Lyndon Tootoosis)

One instance was via a sculpture he constructed on the grounds of the RCMP Depot Division in Regina as a memorial to lacking and murdered Indigenous girls and ladies. Though he claims town and RCMP balked at having a memorial there, he collected and moved 1,071 rocks — the variety of lacking and murdered Indigenous girls and ladies at the moment — from a rock pile he had entry to alongside Final Mountain Lake, and constructed the memorial.

“We have to like one another,” he mentioned. “In our custom, that rock represents our ancestors. They’re right here to remind us of how insignificant we’re. We’d like animals, want the crops to feed us. However most of all, we want one another.”


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