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For King and Country

Every November 11, Canadians observe a moment of silence to remember those who have served our country in times of war.  In 2015, Barry Ace created ‘For King and Country’ in honour of his father, who served in the Canadian military at a time when Canada did not recognize Indigenous people’s right to vote.  We are pleased to have this artwork in the Art Bank collection to highlight the contribution Indigenous people made to Canada and the world.

AceBarry Ace, ‘For King and Country’ (2015)

Artist Statement:
During the First and Second World Wars, Indigenous peoples of this land volunteered in large numbers to fight overseas for King and Country. Those who were registered as status, in accordance with the federal Indian Act (1867) legislation, were subjected to harsh discriminatory provisions of the Act that involuntarily removed their status and right to reside in their home reserve communities, for reasons that included service to the Canadian armed forces, gaining a university education, and for leaving reserves for long periods of time (including military service overseas). These brave soldiers (men and women) fought for a country that blatantly discriminated against them and continued to deny many Indigenous people the right to vote in a Canadian federal election until 1960; and in provincial election, as in the province of Quebec, until 1969.

About the artist:
Barry Ace is a practicing visual artist and currently lives in Ottawa. He is a band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin 
Island, Ontario, Canada. His mixed media paintings and assemblage textile works explore various aspects of cultural continuity and the confluence of the historical and contemporary.

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