Spirit of the Bluebird

Xstine Cook and Jesse Gouchey

2011, 05:49 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 1024.00

Using spray paint on a fence and garage where Aboriginal mother and grandmother Gloria Black Plume was brutally murdered in 1999, Cree artist Jesse Gouchey paints a large scale animation of a bluebird in flight. The beauty and freedom of the bluebird’s motion is contrasted with remembrances of Gloria’s surviving family members, who give an emotional glimpse of a woman lost to violence and the injustice of the legal system.

Spirit of the Bluebird is a tribute to a woman who embodied the bluebird spirit and speaks to deeper themes of the ongoing mistreatment of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples by the criminal justice system, and the long term negative effects of the Residential School system.

Music by Kainai singer Jonathan Tall Man, Gloria Black Plume’s gifted nephew, weaves effortlessly throughout.

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