Tanisi keke totamak …. Ka cis teneme toyak (phonetic pronunciation: tan-i-si ke-ke to-ta-mak ka cis teen-ne-me tō-yak), which means What can we do, to respect each other, is examining reconciliation by highlighting the opportunity for harmony between Indigenous and settler communities. It is located at the Peace Meeting Site, close to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights at The Forks.
The 11-foot-tall installation is fabricated out of steel and concrete, with internally lighted flames. This is the second of three public art installations commissioned by The Winnipeg Foundation for The Forks. The other installations are by Val Vint and Jaimie Isaac. All three installations are being supported by project curator Dr. Julie Nagam.
“This sculpture tells the story of the brotherhood between the benevolent spirit Wesakechak (phonetic pronunciation: we-sa-ke-chak) and the Wolf. Wesakechak represents the Indigenous people, and the Wolf represents settlers. Wesakechak is a carrier of knowledge: community, family, land, water, plants, creatures, and the spirit world. The Wolf brings forth wisdom and power when embodying ‘community’ but is disastrous when acting as a lone wolf.
At the base of this piece is a pow-wow drum that binds Wesakechak together with the Wolf. As they stare at each other, they see the possibilities of a better future, an opportunity to live in harmony. This work asks, “What can we do to respect each other? Will the flames be healing or disastrous?” - KC Adams