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Sask. Métis woman tells story of her Ukrainian and Indigenous heritage through art

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Melanie Monique Rose is the artist behind The Flower People, an art exhibit in Prince Albert that tells the story of her Indigenous and Ukrainian heritage.

Rose says each piece in the exhibit reveals stories about people, places, and events important to who she is and her relationship to the land.

The art exhibit includes a wide range of displays that show Ukrainian traditions through a variety of textures, colours, and designs.

“I believe through sharing our stories we can begin to understand each other more and understand how we are all connected and related,” Rose said.

According to Rose, her favourite piece in the exhibit is a white Capote (a style of jacket from the fur-trade era) she altered by adding an array of colourful flowers.

Rose says this particular piece can be seen as a self-portrait.

“For me this was my reclaiming of my identity of being very proud and not wanting to hide and just wanting to be very bright and bold,” said Rose.

City of Prince Albert Arts and culture coordinator Judy Macleod Campbell says the exhibit is very special to the local community and the Indigenous population.

“I think is an absolutely beautiful exhibit and it is so relevant to our community because we have a high population of Métis people in Prince Albert,” said Campbell.

Rose says she hopes her artwork will spark important conversations and encourage other Indigenous artists to share their stories.

“When we start having those conversations I think that will help connect us and hopefully get us to work together in a more peaceful and just way,” said Rose.

The Flower People is at the John V. Hicks Gallery in Prince Albert and runs until Jan. 23, 2024.

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