Waasaabikizo: Our pictures are good medicine

Celeste Pedri-Spade


This article explores the role of Anishinabe photography in the ongoing struggle to decolonize, among Anishinabeg with ancestral and present day relationships to lands now occupied predominantly by settler peoples in northwestern Ontario. Drawing on work carried out with several families, this article connects the collection and experience of photography to decolonization, emphasizing its processual nature and role in mediating memories of the past in ways that are respectful of, and privilege, Anishinabe culture and knowledge. By contextualizing this work within a context of Indigenous photography and decolonization, this article furthers understandings of the significance of Indigenous photography to Indigenous led efforts directed towards reclaiming identity, cultural memory, intergenerational knowledge, and sovereignty. This work reveals how Anishinabe photography privileges Anishinabe narratives and experiences that, in turn, counter dominant versions of history and operate as a powerful decolonial force. Overall findings of this research reveal methodological and applied understandings of how photography contributes to ongoing Anishinabe efforts towards decolonization.


Anishinabeg photography; decolonization; visual sovereignty; family

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ISSN 1929-8692