La traversée



The project The Crossing / Ashu-takusseu will be present for Montreal's 375 th annivesary all the summer in the 19 boroughs. All the programmation HERE

Who am I?

My name is Michel Depatie, and I am an artist and photographer. I have had Innu friends for over twenty-five years. I often frequent the community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, by journeying to the territory several times a year. My art is very much inspired by the Aboriginal culture of Nitassinan. I conceived of a project-exhibition titled the Crossing / Ashu-takusseu, that is shaped by the self-portraits of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. My project is, in some respects, a response to Edward Curtis, an American photographer who made close to 30 000 portraits and photographs of the First peoples of the Americas a century ago. He chose to photograph subjects who are exclusively wearing traditional regalia, since he wanted to document Native American tradition. He was convinced of their future disappearance.

The First peoples of the Americas have not disappeared; they have crossed, as you know, more that 10 000 years of history and today, they are taking up more space in the public sphere!

I am asking you to participate in this great project: The Crossing / Ashu-takusseu. It will show the faces of Indigenous peoples today.

Why title the project “The Crossing / Ashu-takusseu

  • Because the Indigenous peoples of the Americas have crossed over 10 000 years of history on this land.

  • Because First Nations culture is taking more and more place in the public sphere through the music, visual arts, video, and poetry.

  • Because Aboriginal people have an important online presence.

  • Finally, because this new presence represents a crossing, a surpassing of limits that have alas been imposed on communities for so long.



How to participate?

  • You should produce a self-portrait of yourself (selfie) from the waist or shoulder up with a digital camera, a cell phone, or a web cam. The use of a mirror is fine as well. You can send me this photograph through this website or by email at [email protected] You should write your full name,place of residence and nation, for example: Caroline Bacon from Pessamit, Innu nation. I will then transform the self-portrait into a mosaic, that is, your image will be composed of 3000 mini images from films produced in First Nations communities by the Wapikoni mobile project! You may recover the final image as it will be placed in an online photo album of the Facebook project!















    Thank you for helping me spread an authentic perspective of today’s First Nations!

    Michel Depatie