John Aitken and Marie Weeks began collaborating in the summer of 2017, but their lives had always been intertwined due to their connection with the community on Mayne Island in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia (part of the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish people). They share a passion for social change and exploring ways to shift the many power imbalances that exist in our current society. They both have a deep desire to be active participants in the evolving relationship between Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in Canada.
John, (Coast Salish Nation) and Marie (British, Irish, French descent settler) had separately been bringing settlers together to facilitate the education and understanding that is required to create sustainable change. John’s activist work is drawn from a broad skill set including First Nations family services, community outreach, physical acting, dance, script writing, carving, film-making and photography. Marie’s focus has been on group facilitation, relationship building and academic research through the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program at the University of British Columbia.
Marie and John are thrilled to participate in Santa Fe Art Institute’s Truth and Reconciliation Residency 2018-2019, and look forward to learning and growing with the community of artists convening at the residency.