A traditional teaching of Aboriginal people in Canada is that before Europeans reached the eastern shores of Turtle Island, their elders had visions of people coming from the east with messages from the Creator.
Inspired by that tradition, Indigenous Christian Fellowship commissioned Ovide Bighetty to create series of paintings depicting the visions of those Aboriginal elders.
Enthusiastic response to an earlier commission, ‘Kisê-manitow Opakitinâsowin - The Creator’s Sacrifice’, encouraged the Council of Indigenous Christian Fellowship to commission Ovide Bighetty a second time. It was decided to challenge Ovide to create images to accompany the teachings known, at the ministry, as ‘Steps Along The Red Road Following Christ the Creator’. These teachings were reproduced in a plain brochure and made available to people who visited the ministry. The need to make additional replacement copies of the brochures on a regular basis indicated the value of the teachings to the ministry’s Aboriginal clientele.
Ovide decided to attach an eagle feather to each image to visually reinforce the sacred character of the teachings. The text of the teachings was printed on to the Baltic Birch plywood background accompanying each image and feather. Bob Anderson built birch shadow box frames to integrate the acrylic on canvas images, the eagle feathers, and the teaching.
Proceeds from the sale of reproductions of ‘Steps Along The Red Road Following Christ the Creator’ and donations to this project will be used to pay the artist’s commission, provide for exhibition tours, and contribute to fundraising for Indigenous Christian Fellowship. All reproduction rights for ‘Steps Along The Red Road Following Christ the Creator’ belong fully and completely to Indian Metis Christian Fellowship (IMCF).
The efforts of various people made possible the creation, exhibit and reproductions of ‘Steps Along The Red Road Following Christ the Creator’. Indigenous Christian Fellowship gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of the following people: Bob Anderson (Concept Media Ltd.); Don List (Birdsong Communications); Mary K. Weimar (Assiniboia Gallery); the Christian Reformed Church in North America-Canada and the many persons whose appreciation for ‘Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin – The Creator’s Sacrifice’ encouraged further endeavors. We also give thanks and praise to Christ the Creator in whose honour these paintings were made.