“I deconstruct the images of the Indian Princess and the Squaw and reconstruct an image of absurdity and insert these hybrids into the mainstream.”
Lori Blondeau is a Cree/Saulteaux/Metis artist originally from Saskatchewan, Blondeau holds an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan, and has sat on the Advisory Panel for Visual Arts for the Canada Council for the Arts and is a co-founder and the current director of TRIBE, a Canadian Aboriginal arts organization. Her practice includes both visual and performance contemporary art.
My work explores the influence of popular media and culture (contemporary and historical) on Indigenous self-identity, self-image, and self-definition. I am currently exploring the impact of colonization on traditional and contemporary roles and lifestyles of Indigenous women. I deconstruct the images of the Indian Princess and the Squaw and reconstruct an image of absurdity and insert these hybrids into the mainstream. Humor is essential to my work. The performance personas I have created refer to the damage of colonialism and to the ironic pleasures of displacement and resistance.
The images of the Indian Princess and Squaw have had a significant impact on societies’ perception of Indigenous women and serve as inspirations for most of my work. Surprisingly, we still see popularized images of the Indian Princess being created by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. You can find these products being sold in Indian Museums and souvenir shops across North America. These are testament to the general public’s idealized perception of beautiful Indigenous women as being exotic and hard to find; virtually non-existent.
Lori Blondeau is a Cree/Saulteaux/Metis artist from Saskatchewan.