My name is Iotetshèn:’en, and I live on Earth–usually. Our planet is united under the Great Law of Peace. […] Earth has been attacked by more than one visitor from outerspace, and our harmonious way of life is being threatened. So for now, my home is this spaceship. We are travelling to the first meeting of the five nearest, friendliest planets in our galaxy. The goal of our mission is to create a union that will protect us from attacks and also help us share our very different knowledges. I have been invited on this historic voyage because I have a special power…
Thus begins The Peacemaker Returns, a futuristic saga set in 3025 yet firmly rooted in the ancestral Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) confederation story and featuring historical figures such as Tekanawí:ta, Jacques Cartier, and a president addicted to Twitter! This new machinima–an animation-style movie produced on the virtual reality platform Second Life–is the core of the children’s exhibition Teiakwanahstahsontéhrha’ | We Extend the Rafters, designed specifically for kids aged 5 to 11 by Skawennati. Audiences of all ages are invited to (re)discover some traditions in the artist’s « museum of the future, » an original installation. A guided tour and a collective workshop in the form of an innovative board game will encourage young and mature viewers alike to (re)learn history from an Indigenous perspective and imagine how all people can contribute to the world of tomorrow, reminding us how History, like any other narrative, is a construction defined by those who tell it.
Extending the rafters
The bilingual title of the exhibition—in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) and in English—refers to the action of “extending the rafters” of a longhouse. These traditional Indigenous structures would be lengthened to make room for new generations or even other families. The title chosen by the artist therefore encompasses the broader notion of acceptance and inclusion of differences, in the spirit of Respect, Unity and Peace.
Produced in partnership with Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) and Obx Labs, this exhibition benefits from the financial support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications and the City of Montreal under the Agreement on the Cultural Development of Montreal, as well as the Caisse de la Culture of the Mouvement Desjardins. This initiative is also made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Canada’s community foundations, Foundation of Greater Montréal, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.