Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother (1991)

Rebecca Belmore
Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother
Mixed media sculpture; plywood, cork, cork inlay, mahogany veneer, varnish, fibreglass, leather, loudhailer, ochre
26 minutes 33 seconds; 256 x 247 cm Collection of Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Alberta, purchased with the support of the York Wilson Endowment Award, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts Courtesy of the artist


An Indigenous artist and member of the Lac Seul First Nation, Rebecca Belmore’s art focuses on land use, resource allocation, climate change and displacement. The mixed- media installation Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother (1991) was first developed in response to the 1990 Kanehsatà:ke Resistance, also known as the Oka Crisis, in which an act of resistance mounted by a Mohawk community against a golf course expansion encroaching on their ancestral burial grounds was violently suppressed by the Canadian Armed Forces. Over time the installation came to be circulated across various sites of colonial injustice in Canada and was incorporated into gatherings of Indigenous activists and artists. Its Sharjah iteration bears recordings of radical Indigenous voices.