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Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil Public Launch

  • Gardiner Museum 111 Queens Park Toronto, ON, M5S 2C7 Canada (map)

Part of the Community Arts Space: Recent Histories
Presented by TD Bank Group

All are welcome to attend the free public launch of Maldewin Weskijinu, with curated performances by DJ Ariel, Wanda Whitebird, Jeremy Dutcher, Seeds & Stardust Poetry Collective, Siez Swift and Beny Esguerra.

Catering by Tea-N-Bannock

About Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil

Artist, writer, and illustrator Louis Esmé (Mi’kmaq, Acadian, Irish) is a Two-Spirit, non-binary person, and co-founder of Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak Bluejays Dancing Together Collective, which gathers knowledge, stories, and desires for re-urbanized Two-Spirit people and their relations.

They have created eight distinct clay areas in the Gardiner to represent the eight Mi’kmaqi districts. Made during a six-month residency at Akin Collective's studios, these districts feature conical vessels that reference ancestral Wabanaki forms. They are activated by visitors and through an audio installation by musician Christa Couture.

Additionally, artists Ashley Bomberry, Shane H. Camastro, Seeds & Stardust, Jodi Lynn Maracle, JL Whitecrow, Jeremy Dutcher and others will respond to Maldewin Weskijinu through the exhibition of their own works.

For Esmé, Maldewin Weskijinu is a reminder that the land hemorrhages with the blood of their People. They tip the pot of colonial niceties towards the earth / water / sky, making something new from very old elements in the ever looming shadow of institutional collecting. Esmé works to highlight the brilliance of local Indigenous artists from the Dish With One Spoon; their Mi’kmaw pots intend to hold the complexities of being here and home at the same time.

Learn more:

Mesgi'g wela'lioq / Big thanks to Emma Allan, Shane H. Camastro, and Krysta Williams for being incredible mentors through our collaborative ceramic, sound, and community art projects. Mesgi'g wela'lin to the conversation between Terri Monture and M. Carmen Lane, Matriarchs, Muffins, and Art Forms, where Terri's comment about the soil beneath us being soaked in the blood of our Peoples gave birth to the title of this show. Mesgi'g wela'lioq to Margaret Robinson and Roger Lewis for generously sharing cultural knowledge and support around these early stages of recreating our pots. Mesgi'g wela'lioq to Deaf and Disability Art Projects - Ontario Arts Council for funding assistance in the creation of Louis' ceramic work, as well as Indigenous Art Projects - Ontario Arts Council for supporting exhibition of these pieces and more artists' work in the show. 

Here is some information about accommodations. For requests, questions, or concerns, please email Humboldt at, or speak with staff or volunteers on the night of the event. All disability and deaf accommodation requests will prioritize Indigenous community members. 

- Medicines will be available for attendees needing cultural supports. 
- Active listeners and cultural supports will be identified before the first performance, and again before the second at the opening event. 
- The Gardiner is wheelchair accessible. 
- There are gender neutral washrooms available on the third floor. 
- ASL interpreters will be available.
- The Gardiner Museum is a scent free space. There will be a specific scent reduced area during the opening event for those who may need this. 
- Seating will be available during the performances and throughout the exhibition on the 3rd floor. People are also welcome to sit on the floor, stand, move around, and otherwise do what they need for their bodies' and minds' health.
- The closest subway is Museum Station. The closest *accessible* subway station is St. George.

Travel and Childcare Subsidies:
- TTC tokens are available for Indigenous community members attending. Please speak to Humboldt at the end of the event to access this.
- Children and youth are welcome and encouraged to attend. There won't be onsite child minding, though as a community we are all responsible for the well being of young people in the space. Childcare subsidies for offsite childcare are available for Indigenous community members. This is intended to help pay some of the costs for hiring someone of your choosing, at a location of your choice. Please email us at ahead of time to set this up, or speak to Humboldt at the events.

Earlier Event: August 18
Akin Kids Kite Making Workshop