Miss Kitty Pickles at Work!
I hope to get this blog to the attention of “Unreserved,” the name of a popular CBC radio show hosted by Rosanna Deerchild, and reporter Connie Walker, who take you behind the headlines of the top trending stories from Indigenous Canada. There are some very interesting stories and today it made me think of one of my own.
I was raised in a town that had three reserves nearby, yet growing up in the 50’s I only knew three or four indigenous people. We all have prejudices, as by definition the word simply means preconceived ideas or beliefs. The prejudices I have about my children, friends and relatives are all quite positive. The general definition today, however is that prejudices are all negative. Words become emotionally charged and we learn to associate positive or negative emotions around them based on what we were exposed to and learned in our youth.
Take the word “Indian” for example. That was the word used in my town to mean people from the reserves, not always in a positive light although my definition was defined by the popular western movies of the day. In my mind it was a better word for the proud Indigenous people in the movies. Today I have a number of Indigenous friends, some who prefer the word and are proud to be called Indian. One told me it is what his grandparents, parents and reserve called themselves Indian and he prefers to do so as well.
Another becomes quite defensive and says the word to him is an insult because although he is Aboriginal he grew up with a white family in a white community and the word Indian was used as a slur in describing him and his people so he prefers Aboriginal, First Nations or Indigenous, but never Indian. The same word but one enjoys a positive feeling with the word the other a negative feeling based on prejudices he experienced to it. For that reason I restrain from using the word Indian in my blogs but there are some circumstances in which I feel the word works better and may use it but only with the most respect.
I got my first buckskin jacket at five and have owned several since. I fell in love with Indigenous art at a young age and have acquired a large number of pieces. I was once accused of approporating their culture because of it and it made me became somewhat concerned about showing it off. Then I met an Indigenous lady who was head of a Federal Aboriginal Art Museum in Ottawa, who told me she also answers proudly to being called Indian. She explained that I am not appropriating their culture as it is important for non-Aboriginals to enjoy and buy the art work of Aboriginal artists or the artists cannot make a living.
Which brings me to the reason, after a long silence, I need to send this blog out today.
It seems I am being blessed daily by having more and more First Nations people right here in my family.
It started with my son-in-law who I am proud to say is a member and councillor for the Haisla First Nations and who has now given me two beautiful Haisla grandchildren.
Apparently, my other daughter has a part Cherokee grandchild on the way for me as well.
Today I learned from Ancestry.com’s DNA test that one of my daughter-in-laws is part First Nations as well, something she didn’t know but may explain her beautiful dark hair, skin and eyes.
Finally the reason for today’s post is to introduce you to my youngest daughter-in-law, the First Nation artist known as Miss Kitty Pickles.
Miss Kitty Pickles is an Alberta Aboriginal artist with a very difficult but interesting past. Born to an indigenous mother and white father she was bullied while living on the reserve for being too small, too white and probably too cute. Her parents separated and then her mother died when she was still very young. Kitty left the reserve and got by with the help of her fraternal grandfather but when his wife became ill and later died, Kitty left to be on her own as a young teenager.
After a few years struggling to get by, she met my artistic son who recognized and began promoting her artistic talents. She decided the best way for her to be a paid well as an artists was to become a tattoo artist and now is doing very well and she still sells her flat work as well.
Indigenous art and artists are now being recognized for their true value and although Miss Kitty does not limit herself to traditional subject matter, she has a most unique style. Kitty is bright, kind and well spoken, although a little shy but I am sure that she will one day be recognized as a Great Canadian artist. She just needs to get more or better exposure to help fast-track her success.
I am hoping you will help in promoting her and her art by sharing this blog. Perhaps it will find its way to “Unreserved” or some other media that will interview her and help show her artistic talents and intellect.
Please view and share her web, buy an original, print or tattoo while she is still affordable.
Samples of the work of Miss Kitty Pickles:
The art of the resilient and talented young artist known as Kitty Pickles can be seen on her Facebook pages as well, Links below: