Polychrome Wood 2004
164.5 x 61.0 x 61.0 cm
(643/4” x 24.0” x 24.0”)
Collection: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DOJINAC is a building “game” that incorporates many of the historic events, issues, advancements of the aboriginal peoples in Canada. The inspiration for DOJINAC comes from a number of different sources. It is reminiscent of the cribbing that was set in place to stabilize the outriggers of cranes; the piling of hardwoods to air dry; and the game JANGA.
DOJINAC is, in a sense, a game that represents the political stability of aboriginal peoples. Pieces are set four per layer with the next layers set at 90 degrees alternately. The object of the “game” is to remove pieces from anywhere in structure and place them in the top layers and have the structure grow upward, as far as you dare, without it toppling. Ultimately, you do not want to be the person responsible for that collapse.
Each layer consists of four pieces that represent the four sacred colours of the medicine wheel. Some consider the four colours to represent four different races while others believe they represent the four directions. Each of the pieces is titled will an issue or event from our history and a list of the pieces will follow.
The manner in which they some of the lettering has been applied is significant. The red pieces are lettered in white finger prints and the very “unsubtle” message is: white finger prints all over our “red” history. The white pieces are lettered in red finger prints, symbolic of our blood and toil as we work to regain the benefits of inherent, aboriginal and treaty rights.
The following is a list of titles for each piece. Please note that the yellow pieces, the brightest pieces, have been titled with all that aboriginal peoples hold sacred and as sources of hope. The black pieces have been titled with the darkest events and issues that aboriginal peoples have endured. The colour lists are by no means exhaustive but represent a starting point from which refinements and alterations can be made. The colour lists are as follows.
BILL C-7 FIRST NATIONS GOVERNANCE ACT
NON ASSERTION/ FALL BACK RELEASE TECHNIQUE
1995 INHERENT RIGHTS POLICY
NON – NON DEROGATION AMENDMENT
D.O.J. / I.N.A.C.
BILL C-19 FIRST NATIONS FISCAL INSTITUTIONS ACT
COURTS, COURTS, COURTS