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Home /  Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil Public Launch / Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil Public Launch
Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil

Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil Public Launch

Fri August 24, 2018 6:00PM - 8:00PM

Part of the Community Arts Space: Recent Histories

ASL interpretation provided.

ASL interpretation provided.

All are welcome to attend the free public launch of Maldewin Weskijinu, with curated performances by DJ Ariel, Wanda Whitebird, Jeremy Dutcher, Seeds & Stardust Poetry Collective, Siez Swift, and Beny Esguerra. Catering by Tea-N-Bannock.

Mesgi’g wela’lioq / Big thanks to Emma Allan, Shane H. Camastro, and Krysta Williams for being incredible mentors through our collaborative ceramic, sound, and community art projects. Mesgi’g wela’lin to the conversation between Terri Monture and M. Carmen Lane, Matriarchs, Muffins, and Art Forms, where Terri’s comment about the soil beneath us being soaked in the blood of our Peoples gave birth to the title of this show. Mesgi’g wela’lioq to Margaret Robinson and Roger Lewis for generously sharing cultural knowledge and support around these early stages of recreating our pots. Mesgi’g wela’lioq to Deaf and Disability Art Projects – Ontario Arts Council for funding assistance in the creation of Louis’ ceramic work, as well as Indigenous Art Projects – Ontario Arts Council for supporting exhibition of these pieces and more artists’ work in the show.


Here is some information about accommodations. For requests, questions, or concerns, please email Humboldt at humboldt@gardinermuseum.on.ca, or speak with staff or volunteers on the night of the event. All disability and deaf accommodation requests will prioritize Indigenous community members.

  • Medicines will be available for attendees needing cultural supports
  • Active listeners and cultural supports will be identified before the first performance, and again before the second at the opening event. They will be noted at the beginning of the Community Conversation and available throughout the evening
  • The Gardiner is wheelchair accessible
  • There are gender neutral washrooms available on the third floor
  • ASL interpreters will be available
  • The Gardiner Museum is a scent free space. There will be a specific scent reduced area during the opening event for those who may need this
  • Seating will be available during the performances and throughout the exhibition on the 3rd floor. People are also welcome to sit on the floor, stand, move around, and otherwise do what they need for their bodies’ and minds’ health
  • The closest subway is Museum Station. The closest *accessible* subway station is St. George

Travel and Childcare Subsidies

  • TTC tokens are available for Indigenous community members attending. Please speak to Humboldt at the end of the events to access this
  • Children and youth are welcome and encouraged to attend. There won’t be onsite child minding, though as a community we are all responsible for the well being of young people in the space. Childcare subsidies for offsite childcare are available for Indigenous community members. This is intended to help pay some of the costs for hiring someone of your choosing, at a location of your choice. Please email us at humboldt@gardinermuseum.on.ca ahead of time to set this up, or speak to Humboldt at the events

About Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil

Artist, writer, and illustrator Louis Esmé (Mi’kmaq, Acadian, Irish) is a Two-Spirit, non-binary person, and co-founder of Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together, which gathers knowledge, stories, and desires for re-urbanized Two-Spirit people and their relations.

They have created eight distinct clay areas in the Gardiner to represent the eight Mi’kmaqi districts. Made during a six-month residency at Akin Collective’s studios, these districts feature conical vessels that reference ancestral Wabanaki forms. They are activated by visitors and through an audio installation by musician Christa Couture.

Additionally, artists Ashley Bomberry, Shane H. Camastro, Seeds & Stardust, Jodi Lynn Maracle, JL Whitecrow, Jeremy Dutcher and others will respond to Maldewin Weskijinu through the exhibition of their own works.

For Esmé, Maldewin Weskijinu is a reminder that the land hemorrhages with the blood of their People. They tip the pot of colonial niceties towards the earth / water / sky, making something new from very old elements in the ever looming shadow of institutional collecting. Esmé works to highlight the brilliance of local Indigenous artists from the Dish With One Spoon; their Mi’kmaw pots intend to
hold the complexities of being here and home at the same time.

About the Community Arts Space: Recent Histories

Inspired by the transformative aspects of ceramics, both real and metaphorical, the Community Arts Space is the Gardiner’s incubator for arts-based community projects. In collaboration with local artists, designers, and collectives, the Museum presents five public projects that examine how cultural knowledge is passed on or performed, and the role of a museum in cultivating so-called lived and living memory. Learn more

Presented by

Community Partners


The 519 is committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of the LGBTQ2S community. A City of Toronto agency and a registered charity with an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership, The 519 strives to make a real difference in people’s lives while working to promote inclusion, understanding, and respect.

In 2017, The 519 provided in-kind space and resources for artistic workshops in support of the development of two process-driven projects, NU_FORuMS and Collecting Personal Archives. For Community Arts Space 2018, The 519 will again provide workshop space for a process-driven project, supporting the delivery of knowledge and skill-sharing serving the LGBTQ2S community in Toronto and beyond.

Akin Collective is a Toronto-based arts organization that provides affordable studio space as well as arts-based programming through its sister non-profit organization, Akin Projects. Akin provides space to nearly 250 visual artists, designers, and creatives in studios that maintain a friendly and inspiring atmosphere where people can work on creative endeavors and entrepreneurial undertakings of all kinds. Akin builds community through monthly art critiques, free or low-cost workshops, open studio events, gallery tours, exhibitions, as well as various other projects. During the Community Arts Space’s inaugural 2016 cycle, Akin Projects mounted Place/Setting, an exhibition hall project delivering all-ages clay-making workshops and community events. For Community Arts Space 2018, Akin will provide six months of free studio time at one of its studios, as well as kiln firing access.

For 25 years, Art Starts programs have benefited thousands of people living in marginalized Toronto neighbourhoods by providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for self-expression and creative collaboration. They afford opportunities for vulnerable people of all ages to contribute to the creative ecology of their neighbourhoods, using the arts to help end the negative cycles associated with marginalization and poverty.

Programming Partners

Angry Asian Feminist Gang

Asian Community AIDS Services

Invisible Footprints

Margin of Eras Gallery

Rice Roll Productions

Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together Collective