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My Moral Compass was inspired by Leona Makokis’ article “Disordered Dependencies: The Impact of Language Loss and Residential Schooling on Indigenous Peoples”. In it she articulates that the Cree language creates a framework of boundaries and spiritual guidance, thus, the language becomes a collective and individual moral compass. I hail from a lineage of multi-lingual (Cree, French, Michif) speakers. Through the various processes of assimilation, this multi-lingual tradition has been lost, along with the moral values embedded in the language(s). English is my only fluent language, and in speaking it, I hide my aboriginal identity, whether I intend to or not. This performance is an attempt to reconcile my relationship with my native language(s), in an attempt to find, and reveal, my lost self.
Amy Malbeuf would like to thank Daniel Cardinal for the Cree translations of My Moral Compass.
Amy Malbeuf (Canada) is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Rich Lake, Alberta. She holds a BFA from Alberta College of Art + Design (2010) and a Native Cultural Arts Instructor Certificate from Portage College (2012). Malbeuf utilises performance and installation to convey narratives surrounding notions of identity, place, tradition, spirituality, myth, and consumerism. In 2011, she participated in two residencies Revolution 2012 at The Banff Centre and Emerging Indigenous Voices at Kua`aina Associates and San Francisco State University. She has exhibited and performed at The Works Festival, Edmonton; Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto; Stride Gallery, Calgary; Visualeyez Festival, Edmonton; Art City Festival, Calgary; and The Other Gallery, Banff.