A sculpture by Mohawk and Oneida artist David General, entitled She dances with the earth, water and sky, now graces the lawn of Tabaret Hall.
David General, who hails from the Six Nations of the Grand River, created the piece at the request of the University’s Indigenous Affairs. His statue represents the abstract form of a woman wrapped in a shawl because women are so closely connected to the land, sky, and water by virtue of their role as bringers and keepers of life.
“My sculpture acknowledges the significant roles entrusted to women by the Creator to safeguard gifts essential for all life,” said General. “She dances with the earth, water and sky helps our families, communities, and nations celebrate joy and appreciation for women’s achievements.”
“Comments from women on design ideas helped me realize that our territorial land acknowledgments include our inherent rights to the resources of water and sky,” he said. “This statue recognizes women’s voices in protecting our environment from the increasing threats of pollution, development, and climate change.”
This piece of artwork recognizes, and is dedicated to, the relationship between the University of Ottawa and the Omamìwìnini Anishinàbeg as well as all Indigenous people in the National Capital Region.
To mark that intention, a plaque erected with the sculpture states in Algonquin, French and English:
“This sculpture was commissioned to represent the relationship founded on truth and reconciliation between uOttawa and the Omamìwìnini Anishinàbeg, on whose land this campus was built.”
David General went on to say that “Law and Indigenous Studies have attracted many friends to uOttawa and I hope She dances with the earth, water and sky will be visual support and appreciation for their studies and important work in their future. uOttawa is a beautiful campus and I’m proud to have my artwork grace Tabaret lawn.”
The sculpture was officially unveiled in front of Tabaret Hall on Monday, October 28, 2019.