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Feature Artist Jeanette McClelland Talks About Her Artwork

Harley Crowchild “The Dancing Claw” Pastel Framed 28” x 34.

Elder Harley Crowchild was an integral part of a team to introduce a new justice system to the Tsuu T’ina nation provincial court. Harley was inducted as one of the peacemakers by the court to employ similar traditional methods involving community and the Elders to resolve justice disputes. The goal is to teach the younger generation to keep the culture and language alive by bringing the Tsuu T’ina traditions into the court system. This is only one of his many accomplishments.

Harold Crowchild, Harley’s father, was one of the only Treaty Seven veterans to survive World War II. He received five medals from the Canadian Armed Forces for his service in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Harley Crowchild is a decedent of Chief David Crowchild who was instrumental in increasing the level of acceptance of First nations in and around Calgary. As a result, in honour of his importance, the City of Calgary named Crowchild Trail after him. As recorded in the Alberta Champions Society he said, “May this be a symbol of cutting the barriers between all peoples for all times to come.”

Reggie Crowshoe Pastel Framed 28” x 34.

Elder Reggie Crowshoe, son of Joe Crowshoe, is from the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta. He was appointed to the Order of Canada and is responsible for continuing traditional authorities of the Blackfoot Piikani Nation.

Acknowledged as a ceremonialist, he runs the Sun Dances, the Thunder Pipe, and the Brave Dog Society ceremonies. He is passionate about teaching the traditions passed onto him by his parents and grandparents. After working with the province developing the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, he began working in policy and culture. Reggie Crowshoe is devoted to the preservation, protection, and cultural renewal of the Blackfoot people.

Maggie Black Kettle Pastel Framed 24” x 29.

Maggie Black Kettle is a Blackfoot Elder from the Siksika Nation. She passed away in 2023 and was honored at the Stampede Indian Village closing ceremonies. Her father, Chief Sitting Eagle, was one of the first in 1912 to participate in the inaugural Calgary Stampede. The Elder was recognized by the YWCA’s Women of Distinction award in 1994. She taught traditional arts, dancing, and the Blackfoot language to generations.

Recognized as a strong and spiritual woman, Maggie Black Kettle travelled across North America as an ambassador on and off the reserve. In 1977 she was called to meet Prince Charles. She was a prominent figure in the T.V. series North of Sixty and movies such as Wild America and Medicine River.

Larissa Calf Robe “Princess” Pastel Framed 25” x 29.

Larissa Calf Robe is a descendant of the Calf Robe family. The Calf Robe Bridge built over the Bow River Crossing in Calgary was named in honour of Ben Calf Robe. A Siksika First Nation Elder, he was a residential school survivor and a scout for the Northwest Mounted Police (now the RCMP). In 1912, he became an important liaison between the Calgary Stampede and the Indian Village.

Ed Calf Robe Sr. rode saddle bronc and bareback in the 1950’s and spent every day at the Indian Village sharing stories, like his father, about Native traditions. Larissa’s father Ed Calf Robe Jr. continued the heritage.

Ben Calf Robe’s legacy lives on with the Ben Calf Robe Society and Scholarship program in Edmonton. “Our children are sacred. Our work will strive to protect and enhance that sacredness by providing Aboriginal children and their families with holistic education, supportive social services, and program of high quality and cultural relevance.”

Larissa now teaches at the Siksika Nation High School.

Owl & Eagle Spirits Pastel Framed 23” x 27

Many Indigenous cultures believe the Owl is the spirit of a deceased ancestor or other spirit, a bridge between life and the afterlife. Owls are eternal teachers. They represent the energy of the wise elders and ancestors who have previously walked the land.

Eagles are believed to be the closest creatures to the Creator. The eagle symbolic meaning is of strength, wisdom, and courage.


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