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Common Truths

Common Truths - Donna Langhorne
Complete series                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Picture by OSAC

Government House is honoured to share with you the current art exhibit in the Queen Elizabeth II Art Gallery which is presented by OSAC's Arts on the Move Program. The exhibit is entitled Common Truths with paintings by Donna Langhorne.

“Common Truths” continues Donna’s work of examining how challenges facing Indigenous people today can be identified and addressed artistically with reference to traditional teachings and concepts.

This exhibit is presented in Five Groupings, each grouping has a theme and uses a common shape. It confronts twenty (20) common truths impacting Indigenous people. We are especially privileged to have Donna Langhorne speak to each one of her paintings in the videos. 

There are activities that can be used by teachers (and parents) with their classes that coincide with this exhibit.

Common Truths Videos

Group 1: Giishkizhigwan [teachers]
  • Gather [lost traditions] – Snapping Turtle
  • Stung [treaty betrayal] – Frog
  • Forbidden [language suppression] – Snake
  • Hooked [addiction] – Catfish

Video One: Catfish and Frog HERE

Video Two: Snapping Turtle and Snake HERE

Group 2: Nooke [protectors]
  • Silenced [residential schools] – Lynx
  • Remember [youth suicide] – Grizzly Bear
  • Taken [60’s scoop] – Wolf
  •  Missing [MMIW] – Bear

Video One: Lynx and Grizzly Bear HERE

Video Two: Wolf and Bear HERE

Group 3: Bimaawidaasi [hunters and gatherers]
  • Buried [sacred sites] - Moose
  • Hunted [hunting rights] - Muskrat
  • Poisoned [drinking water] - Rabbit
  • Jailed [disproportionate incarceration] – Beaver

Video One: Beaver and Moose HERE

Video Two: Rabbit and Muskrat HERE

Group 4: Baswenaazhi [communicators]
  • Stuck [human trafficking] – Bald Eagle
  • Rise [Stereotypes] - Thunderbird
  • Assimilated [cultural genocide] - Crane
  • Owned [gang affiliation] – Hawk

Video One: Hawk and Thunderbird HERE

Video Two: Bald Eagle and Crane HERE

Group 5: Bemaangik [peace-makers]
  • Breath [urban residency] - Loon
  • Smudged [banned ceremony] - Kingfisher
  • Fierce [2-Spirited] - Partridge
  • Diseased [infected gifts] – Black Duck

Video One: Loon and Kingfisher HERE

Video Two: Patridge and Black Duck HERE


Activity #1: Colour Sorting Game

Activity #2: Colour Wheel

Activity #3: Description Game

Activity #4: Y-Chart

Activity #5: Crayon Painting