Iitsi’poyi documents Marjie Crop Eared Wolf’s ongoing endeavours to learn Blackfoot. The installation combines densely composed large-scale drawings comprised of thousands of Blackfoot words transcribed from the Blackfoot Dictionary  with a sound and video work featuring Crop Eared Wolf reciting Blackfoot words and phrases from an audio tape made by her mother. Iitsi’poyi layers references to oral and textual ways of learning and knowing, the intergenerational transmission and revitalization of language, and the mobilization of technologies such as apps for language preservation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action equates Indigenous language rights to Indigenous human rights . Indeed, as Métis writer and public intellectual Chelsea Vowel states, “I believe our languages to be so central to who we are as Indigenous peoples, that I cannot discuss our present or our future without reference to languages.”  As we approach the close of 2019, the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages, Iitsi’poyi reflects on the significance of language to cultural memory and resurgence.
- Donald G. Frantz and Norma Jean Russell, Blackfoot Dictionary of Stems, Roots, and Affixes, 3rd edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017)
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, (Winnipeg: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015), 2.
- Chelsea Vowell, “The Reports of our Cultural Deaths Have Always Been Greatly Exaggerated,” first published in FUSE Magazine, 19 June 2013.
Marjie Crop Eared Wolf
Marjie Crop Eared Wolf is a Káínai /Secwépemc Multidisciplinary Artist. Crop Eared Wolf graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art in 2009 from the University of Lethbridge. She also received a Kainai Studies Certificate from the Red Crow Community College in 2015. Marjie works with a variety of artistic mediums such as painting, drawing, print making, photography, and installation. Her art practice is inspired by her Káínai and Secwépemc heritage, and is greatly influenced by her tribal traditions as well as contemporary western art forms.