Article 6 – Women in the Seven Sacred Teachings
Jasyn’s Voice in the Teaching of Respect:
My spirit name is Standing Buffalo Man. The image of buffalo is incredibly powerful for me; I wish to have Moose or Caribou as symbols of respect in the North: moose and caribou give every part of their being to sustain the human way of living, not because they are of less value, but because they respect the balance and needs of others.
Life begins with Respect. Every woman should be honoured and respected because women are life-givers. They are our grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. We must carry love and respect for women because they carry hope and honour of a new life.
Symbolic Meaning of the Painting:
Woman carries the hope of a new life;
Storm reflects turmoil;
Dark red blood is absorbed from the earth while blood memory is absorbed into all living beings.
Respect – Manachitowin
The Moose (Buffalo, Caribou) teaches us about respect:
To honor all creation is to have respect.
Live honorably in teachings and in your actions towards all things.
Do not waste and be mindful of the balance of all living things.
Share and give away what you do not need.
Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Do not be hurtful to yourself or others.
Jasyn’s Voice in the Teaching of Humility:
We live in rich diverse ecosystems and within these are the lungs of Turtle Island. We are products of this land and the land will take care of us. When we are crying out to Mother Earth in despair, she will hear us. Storms and floods will occur, and she shows us to find ourselves reliant on others.
Suddenly, racial and social barriers will disintegrate, and the true human spirit will be tested.
In times of turmoil, when we are fighting each other, Mother Earth will shake her fury and fire with us, and she will cry rivers of tears. She tells us that we will all have to drink from the same stream, live on the same land, breathe the same air, and that there is no separation any longer.
Symbolic Meaning of the Painting
Lion and Wolf are two very different species. In this case, the lion has come to our territory as it is in turmoil. He drinks from the same source that we do, and we provide the safe shelter for him. The wolf even makes friends with him.
The Story of Norma: Norma is a beautiful woman from Thompson, and she is homeless. She wears Velcro sneakers all year round. Her eyes sparkle like snow crystals when she smiles. Norma is always humble and kind.
In this painting, the figure in the back is Norma. She holds a busted umbrella that is intended to shelter herself. In kindness, these two strangers stay together with her, drinking and refueling from the same source.
Humility – Tapahtenimowin
For the wolf to be a part of your pack is important. The Wolf teaches us humility:
Humility is to know that you are a sacred part of creation;
Live a life selflessly and do not place yourself above others;
Respect your place and carry your pride with your people and praise the accomplishments of all.
Jasyn’s Voice in the Teaching of Wisdom:
Women in the north have always been the caregivers, which is a tribute to both urban and non-urban women who work on the front-line such as, nurses, emergency workers, teachers, medicine people, caregivers and Elders. With a balance in both traditional and modern medicine, women provide love and vital nourishment required for healthy and balanced communities.
When we are unsure of ourselves, we can return to the sacred tree to revive those teachings. The tree has wisdom deeply embedded in its relics, roots, and the surrounding plants are an extensive web of answers as we are all connected.
The spirits of the Caribou still cut through the downtown core, and you can hear them on the darkest coldest nights reminding us that their traditional route once passed through the heart of our city. These echoes of the past are much like a migrating herd of caribou; year after year the love for women has been repeated in the patterns of our grandmothers’ beadwork.
Symbolic Meaning of the Painting:
Teepee represents the community. The sacred teepee has thirteen poles; each holds a value including all emergency workers no matter whether they are traditional, modern and contemporary.
Beaver symbolizes the success of Canada’s economy, which used to be built on the fur trade and need for beaver pelts. Traditional traplines once ran through the city of Thompson. They brought medicines, sage, sweet grass, and cedar and tobacco.
Caribou antlers carry whispers of the spirits of caribous. The spirits of caribous still sweep through the winter winds covering their ancient migratory route, which is now the Canadian Tire Parking Lot.
Beadwork displays medicines and traditional plants, which are still preserved in our art and in our Grandmothers’ beadwork.
Wisdom – Nipokawin
Beavers teach us wisdom. They use their natural gift wisely to alter their environment in a sustainable way that benefits family and community.
The beaver reminds us that we all have gifts and purpose in this world. It is through the love of knowledge that we find wisdom:
Be mindful of your own limitations and of your surroundings;
Allow yourself to learn and live by your wisdom.
Jasyn’s Voice in the Teaching of Truth:
One cannot begin to imagine the nightmare that girls/women faced in residential schools. However, I do know the feeling of inherited trauma. It burns and consumes with a painful intensity. Each survivor with his or her family knows this pain and this pain continues to agonize them.
Much of the truth has been shared through stories; thankfully we can speak out in perseverance to start the healing process. You can still speak out even if you are not already yet, as truth is a way to acquire peace.
Knowing that the Turtle continues to breathe strongly beneath us encourages us to tell the truth. She continually blesses all that is around us while enduring through time. Let the Turtle blanket your darkest of moments with frequencies of true healing and awareness. The future deserves to inherit your truth and patience even if it is not what you inherited.
Symbolic Meanings of the Painting:
Turtle is blessing the land that residential schools are on, which reminds us that new life is arriving.
Thirteen symbols represent the thirteen residential schools in Manitoba. The symbols are unrecognizable for the most part to indicate the confusion and challenges of learning a new way of life.
Bush plane is operated by a puppeteer, a symbol of Government agents.
Child figure old man symbolizes another agent playing with toys.
Bloodline is running throughout the seven paintings.
Truth is represented by the Turtle who carries the teachings of life on her back. The turtle lives a life in a slow and meticulous manner because she understands the importance of both the journey and the destination:
Truth is to show honor and sincerity in all that you say and do;
Understand your place in this life and apply that understanding in the way that you walk;
Be true to yourself and all other things;
Truth is to know all of these things, and it is to apply faith and trust in your teachings.
Jasyn’s Voice in the Teaching of Courage:
Every person in the north has been affected by the relentless unforgiven element of winter. Whether seeking shelter, refuge, safety, food, emergency services, we all know of an amazing woman who has physically endured the harshness of the coldest temperatures, extreme frostbite, near starvation, and even death.
This painting is a tribute to our mothers, sisters, daughters who tragically lost their lives to extreme cold.
Symbolic Meaning of the Painting:
Bloodline also has a mosquito, a symbol of resilience.
Highway yellow lines connect paintings as well as the two worlds of traditional and modern, both living together or relying on each other.
Courage — Sokitehiwin
Bear teaches us courage. The mother bear has the courage and strength to face her fears and challenges while protecting her young ones. The bear also shows us how to live a balanced life with rest, survival, and play:
Do not be afraid to do what is right;
Find your inner strength to face the difficulties of life and the courage to be yourself.
Jasyn’s Voice in the Teaching of Love:
The love for ourselves, families, and relations is sacred. A mother’s love for her children is unconditional, regardless of their own obstacles and battles as they support and nurture their families. To know love and to love oneself truly, one must view one’s inner self from the perspective of all the teachings.
This is a tribute to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls.
Symbolic Meaning of the Painting:
The Eagle is the symbol of love, and it continues to bless the darkest of corners.
Cell phones are what the evil visitors have brought to this land. The vulnerable women are poisoned by their own demons inflicting bad influence on vulnerable women.
Sparkles are the northern lights that the eagle has brought to bless these dark corners. Northern lights are our ancestors.
Red dress are in honour and memory of all the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Flooding comes from hydro-development, and these operations have brought in many workers who need to be a part of culturally sensitive training.
Love – Sahkihitowin
The Eagle represents love because it has the strength to carry all the teachings. The Eagle’s teaching of love can be found in the core of all teachings:
To know love is to be at peace with yourself, and in balance with all things in life.
Jasyn’s Voice in the Teaching of Honesty:
I think one has to take a long hard look in the mirror when questioning the magic of the world. We live in such a delicate ecosystem, where everything is inter-related and works in harmony to live healthy.
Sabé reminds us to be honest with ourselves and others when exploring our territories. Each plant has a name; each leaf whispers the sounds of ancient traditional languages. Each inch of space is just as important as the next. The lights of the northern sky are filled with colour, electricity, vibrations and frequencies.
Symbolic Meaning of the Painting:
Technology is symbolized digitally with frequencies and data moving through the sky.
Northern lights represents our ancestors, who are also capable of transmitting frequencies and data, and dreams.
Broken glass is pretty like the sparkles, but actually the forest floor of some northern communities’ sparkles with broken glass from all the alcohol consumed.
Maps, old and modern, become the bloodline of the Saw Bay.
Environment is presented by some healthy looking fish, and some pale and sick ones from poisoning.
Sabé reminds us to be ourselves and not someone we are not; Sabé teaches us about Honesty:
To walk through life with integrity is to know honesty;
Be honest with yourself, recognize and accept who you are;
Accept and use the gifts you have been given;
Do not seek to deceive yourself or others.
Jasyn’s Self Introduction
Hello! Tansi! My name is Jasyn Lucas. I was born Jason Bighetty on May 3rd 1979, in Flin Flon Manitoba. I was adopted by the Lucas family and grew up in Thompson Manitoba. During my childhood, my parents always took my sisters and me for camping so I love outdoor activities such as fishing and swimming. Since my childhood, I developed my passions for drawing and painting. I graduated from R.D Parker Collegiate in 1997 and moved to Vancouver in 1999 where I later attended the Studio Art Diploma Program at Capilano College in North Vancouver. There I studied Drawing, Painting, Print- making, Art History and sculpture. However, I chose to return to Thompson where I would work as a full time-artist.
I also learned how to tattoo with the modern style, using Rotary Electric Tattoo Machine. Tattooing has helped me become a well-rounded artist as it requires so much patience and hard work. I have worked as an artist travelling many places across Canada doing Art shows anywhere I could. My partner Nikki Brightnose has helped me immensely on this journey. We have done tradeshows, festivals, conferences, and pow-wows all across Canada. I have had the chance to showcase my art works at Vision Quest in Winnipeg, the World Art Market at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, The 2010 Vancouver Olympics in Vancouver, and the Para-Olympics in Whistler, BC, just to name a few. Nikki and I also owned and operated a Tattoo service, and Art Gallery in Thompson called the Gift of Art.
I have donated much of my time to speaking or teaching at many schools and institutes. I have also donated numerous paintings to some of my favorite organizations, including the National Institute for the Blind and Ducks Unlimited Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, and many more. I feel that it is one way I can help others raise money for great causes within the communities I have connections with.
The older I get, the more I realize how important education has been for me. In the fall of 2019, I returned to school to study on Thompson campus at University College of the North. In school, I often end up with motivational speaking and teaching workshops of large groups of people. I think that returning to school would help me become better informed when discussing important issues within my public speaking. As an urban ‘Aboriginal,’ finding identity can be tough. I feel that emotions can run high depending on the unique social situations my work puts me in. I believe that being better informed of literary topics and obtaining good communications skills help me with public speeches.
As a popular artist, Jasyn Lucas lives an active life in many ways: a creative artist, a devoted activist, and a diligent student. He is an easy person to work with as well. Personally, I got to know him at his art exhibit on campus in November 2019. I am impressed with his devotion to artwork and schoolwork, so is his writing instructor, Dr. Gilbert McInnis, who recommended Jasyn’s research paper to me, “The Effects of Globalization on First Nations Communities.” As MFTN decided to introduce Jasyn’s art works in Issues 5 and 6, we will follow his achievements from returning to school in later issues. In the 5th issue, we published an interview with Jasyn by MFTN editors, Desiree Balfour’s “Reflection on Interview with Jasyn Lucas,” and some of Jasyn’s painting to reflect his life as an artist. This issue introduces his paintings of the following themes: “Animals and Landscapes in the North” and “Women in the Seven Sacred Teachings.”
(Dr. Ying Kong)