"Reconciliation Is A Social Issue"
Can you tell us about what you wanted to convey with this piece of artwork? What were some inspirations or ideas you wanted to consider when you were creating it?
I wanted to show that this idea of reconciliation in Canada is very narrow in its approach, particularly the emphasis on Residential Schools, which minimizes and erases the larger overall impacts of colonialism and genocide. It also conveys the idea that there was once a harmonious relationship between Indigenous peoples and European colonizers that simply needs to be restored.
Why is reconciliation as a theme important to you?
Personally it is not an important theme because it is largely a public relations exercise by the state to imply that it is progressive and that it is correcting the historical wrongs of colonialism, when in fact nothing fundamentally changes for Indigenous peoples despite the fact that tens of millions of dollars have been spent on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
What was the creative process like in creating this artwork? (Do you map it out in a plan beforehand, do you work on text first and then illustration or vice versa? You can also talk about the medium or methods you use in creating the work.)
I first research what is the theme, in this case reconciliation, what is the background to this and where does it originate from. I write some brief notes from my research which will then form the basis of the text I will use in the comic. From this I can then map out the comic panels and what the image should be for each panel. As for production, I first make a rough thumbnail sketch of the page. I then begin work on an 11x17 inch bristol board, drawing in pencil. Once I am satisfied with the pencil I use ink pens and India ink for larger areas of black. Once the inking is done I scan the page into my computer and add colour and shading. When I am finished colouring I reduce the image and add the text.
ABout The Author
Gord Hill is a writer, artist and activist of the Kwakwaka'wakw nation. He is the author and illustrator of The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book, The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book, and The Antifa Comic Book (published by Arsenal Pulp Press in Vancouver), as well as the author of the book 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance, published by AK Press in Oakland, California. His art and writings have also been published in numerous periodicals, including Briarpatch, Canadian Dimension, Redwire, Red Rising Magazine, The Dominion, Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec, Intotemak, Seattle Weekly, and Broken Pencil.