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Dr. Jennifer Leason launches new book with art exhibition

Image courtesy Dr. Jennifer Leason. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Leason on the publication of her new book "Mayabbekamneeboon" (Blueberry Patch) which is being launched this weekend with an exhibition of her art from the book at the Penticton Art Gallery.

Leason wrote the book and created all of the artwork and illustrations for the book based on her Uncle Norman Chartrand's childhood memory of his Métis community packing up their horses and heading east of Duck Bay, Pine Creek First Nation, Manitoba to pick blueberries for the month of July. The story was first told in Anishinabemowen and was later transcribed into English. The title “Mayabbekamneeboon” translates to “Blueberry Patch”.

Leason writes: “In 2012, I embarked on a journey to learn Saulteaux- Anishinaabemowen and to revitalize the language for myself, our generation, our children and for generations to come. It was through Uncle Norman’s story that I was able to reconnected with my mother, my grandmother, my grandparents, great grandparents and the ancestors who continue to guide me on my journey.  I truly believe they spoke to me through “spirit paint” (Norval Moriseau) and at times I felt their presence as they peered over my shoulder to tell which coloured they loved the most. This project has been about intergenerational healing, transforming my anger and grief into art, and seeing/feeling the love and beauty of each day. The art is a celebration of the ancestors; Indigenous identity; belief and belonging; colour and connection; self-determination and definition; family and friendship; forgiveness and the future; land and language; persistence and patience; rest and reconciliation; sorrow and surrender; truth and time”.

The art exhibit runs from January 25, 2019 – March 17, 2019. Penticton Art Gallery