The Gibson Gallery celebrates Aboriginals

By Jolene Perron

The Gibson Gallery is proud to present the original exhibit, O’h ya,’h ohdiwenagqh: “Through the Voices of Beads” now until May 27.

With the bicentennial for the War of 1812 fast approaching, the Gibson Gallery is trying to think up new and original exhibits to present in order to educate the public. In this, Sue Brewin researched and contacted The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto and came up with the exhibit “Through the Voices of Beads”.


“The goal of this exhibit,” said Bonnie Deslippe, “is not to focus on the war. It is more to celebrate the peace and people involved, and to honour the First Nations.”

These two outfits are a collaborative piece called "Ska-Ni-Kwat" meaning, "We are of one mind" appropriately named as it took nearly 200 individuals to make the pieces.

This exhibit has original work done by the Iroquois, containing historical and contemporary pieces and works from the collection of Iroquois beadwork artist, Samuel Thomas.

Deslippe explains that it’s hard for the First Nations to really celebrate the war because it changed their way of life.

The exhibit is centered around two very large pieces. They are referred to as “Ska-Ni-Kwat” meaning  “We are of one mind”.  These pieces are two beaded outfits, made for one man and one woman and were developed not only by Samuel Thomas but also by Lorna Thomas-Hill. They incorporated additional help from nearly 200 individuals both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

“I really hope that people take advantage of this exhibit,” said Deslippe, “it’s just like being at the ROM, but it’s in our own backyard.”

The gallery is open Thursdays-Sundays from 11am-5pm at 140 Richmond St. Amherstburg. Admission to the exhibit is $3 for adults and $2 for students. For more information contact Bonnie Deslippe at 519-736-2826.

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