Released March 2018
I belong to the K’ómoks First Nation and we are deep into the British Columbia treaty process. I truly have mixed feelings about our involvement in this. By choosing to engage in the process, we enter a world of consultants and negotiators and other strange, scary and wonderful creatures. We partake in a world of borrowing and debt; of meetings and fights. We enter without knowing whether we are journeying into the dark side or are on a path towards the light.
What I do know is that under the treaty process, our community has begun to fracture. Our very future as a people is at stake. Will treaty define who we are or will our culture do that? Will treaty lead us to form a “Treaty Empire” or a “Treaty Rebellion”?
What particularly irks me about the treaty process is that the Federal and Provincial governments have no qualms about invoking fear during negotiations. These oppressors come whirling in, evil in their eyes, and come up with things like: “You better hurry up and sign treaty or there won’t be any land left for settlement” It’s sad: our ancestors have been here since time immemorial, we haven’t yet extinguished title over our land and we live in the second largest country in the world. Yet, the governments have the gall to scare us into hurrying up with treaty.
We need to look the oppressors in the eyes and let them know that we can’t be frightened into signing treaty. We won’t jeopardize our children’s children's future by adhering to an imposed government timeline. When confronted by fear, we need to slice it in two with the strength of our ancestors.
“Oppressor” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in March of 2018 and printed by Andy Everson at the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 241 prints bear the title “Oppressor” and are signed by Andy Everson: 200 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/200 through 200/200; 20 Artist’s Proofs; 20 Remarques and 1 Printer’s Proof. The acid-free 100% cotton rag paper measures about 8.5x11 inches. Image size measures about 7.7x9.7 inches.