Tag Archives: val vint sculpture

Maybe It’s Good Some Books Are Missing

I have visited this new artwork at The Forks site in Winnipeg several times now. It is called Education is the New Bison and was created by artist Val Vint who is of Cree, Ojibwa, Métis, African-American and Caucasian ancestry. The sculpture is in the shape of a bison and the parts of its body are made up of replicas of books by indigenous authors.

This quote from Senator Murray Sinclair reflects the theme of the art piece. “Education is what got us here and education is what will get us out.” 

Val Vint said the bison was once of primary importance to indigenous people providing them with the essentials of a good life.

I was delighted to see a book I absolutely love Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer included in the sculpture

She feels that in the present day education is an essential ingredient for a rich life and an important key to the success of the process of truth and reconciliation.

I thought it was neat the way spider webs and greenery have grown around this foot of the bison which features The Secret Path by Gord Downie

I  have spent quite a bit of time crawling around and under the sculpture looking for new titles. There are apparently 200 books included and I find some new ones every time I visit.

That being said quite a few works by indigenous authors I’ve enjoyed seem to be missing. Some books I am still looking for are Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, 7 Generations by David Robertson, In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Mosionier, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, The Break by Katherena Vermette, Canada Reads 2016 nominee Birdie by Tracey Lindberg, Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and The Right To Be Cold by Sheila Watt- Cloutier.

I am a little puzzled why Blackflies by Robert Munsch is included but not A Promise is a Promise which Munsch wrote with Inuit author Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak. I know some books like From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle which I just read and Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq are too new to be included.  

Maybe it is good I haven’t found all the books in the sculpture I think should be there because that will bring me back to explore Education is the New Bison again and again and perhaps locate more of them.  

And maybe the fact that there are now so many books by indigenous authors they can’t all be included in one sculpture is a wonderful and promising thing. 

Other posts………..

I Just Won a Cache of Great Children’s Books

Top Ten Pieces of Writing Advice From David Robertson

The Consolation of Water Lilies



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Filed under Art, Books, Winnipeg