Images of bound and gagged Indigenous women make up part of Bathurst, New Brunswick, festival
By Miles Howe
The first image depicts two Indigenous women in full length buckskin dresses, with their hands bound behind their backs and their ankles tied. It seems as though they are captives on a boat. Their mouths are gagged with something resembling duct tape. They facial expressions appear to be resigned to whatever fate awaits them. One has simply closed her eyes.
The second image shows a priestly-looking individual standing in front of three Indigenous people. In front of the crowd are two treasure chests filled with nondescript items. To the casual observer, it might pass for a sermonizing scene, for all intents and purposes rather paternalistic to boot.
No explanation–rational or otherwise–accompanied the two images in the storefront window in which they appeared.
For the duration of the festival, the images appeared in the Main street-facing window of the former Sportsmen Pub building, which, perhaps to make matters worse, is the site of the unsolved murders of Diane Aubie and Gary DeGrace.
We are not animals.
Even the "apology" has my head spinning. How could someone put these images in a very public place and not expect harm? Not expect rage? Effing incredible.