Among North American indigenous peoples, there is the story that, before Europeans arrived on Turtle Island, elders had visions about white people coming from the east with a story from the Creator. In 2002, Indigenous Christian Fellowship (ICF) commissioned Cree artist Ovide Bighetty to depict the vision that an elder had of Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin - The Creator’s Sacrifice; (the Easter story or the passion of Jesus Christ). Ovide accepted the challenge to paint the story in a fashion consistent with both the accounts in the gospels and aboriginal culture. Ovide painted the elder’s vision of the Easter story in his own aboriginal style which he describes as ‘Woodland Cree’. The setting for this Christian aboriginal artwork is the pre-European landscape of Ovide’s child hood home, Pukatawagan First Nation, Manitoba, Canada.
In preparation for these paintings, Bert Adema (ICF Director) researched the sequence of the Easter story from the four gospel accounts. From the gospel based outline, Ovide selected seventeen vignettes for his portrayal of Christ the Creator’s death and resurrection. Ray Aldred (Cree), Deanna Keewatin (Cree), and Shirley Bonk (Metis) assisted in naming the individual seventeen paintings.
Proceeds from the sale of reproductions of Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin – The Creator’s Sacrifice 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 Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin – The Creator’s Sacrifice belong fully and completely to Indigenous Christian Fellowship (ICF).
The efforts of various people made possible the creation, exhibit and reproductions of Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin – The Creator’s Sacrifice. Indigenous Christian Fellowship gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of the following people: Neil Douglas, Ladd Fogarty, Bob Anderson (Concept Media), Don List (Birdsong Communications), and the Christian Reformed Church in North America-Canada. We also give thanks and praise to Christ the Creator in whose honour these paintings were made.