Caden Lane Is an artist belonging to Mikisew Cree & Dene First Nation. His submission to The Orange Shirt Contest (pictured below) is titled “Light in The Coalescence of Culture.” When asked about what it represents, he stated, “The Two Feathers: they represent the liberation of the indigenous culture at the end of residential schools. Following, the feathers become supports to the heart of cultural teachings and the growth of the individual represented by an interpretable flame. Last, in the teachings I have been given, there are qualities of the feather that represent one's life, I've been told that the rachis represents the lifeline, and from there interpreted that the vane represents the experience of one’s life, branching out until the singular point in the end; the outward breaks in the vane are meant to represent the scars from the mistreatment of indigenous people. However, instead of expressing this as something that would cloud cultural understanding, I made this artwork to show it emphasizes the cultural understanding that unifies the division of self, which I will explain next. Circles: Each circle represents an aspect of self, giving a story as they work upward in the design. The bottom two circles represent a division of self in the initial liberation of one’s culture. However, this division gives a means of reflection and acts as the foundation of the feathers that go into support to the rest of the progression of self. By these supports, the circle representing self comes closer to wholeness, having the division in reflection unified by cultural understanding, which is represented by the medicine wheel symbolizing base teachings. The unification of one’s culture gives a base for the growth of the flame representing the spirit of individuality. The Flame: As stated before, the flame is interpretable because I created it so it could be seen as paths or rivers leading into a mountain. With this interpretation, they begin within the circle of self, leading into the mountain to reach the point of light, or in the perception for flame the wholeness that spirit of self reaches to caress. As for the perception of rivers, they represent paths flowing from the source of unity and light, being the circle of the sun at the peak of the mountain, in-depth branching into the circle of self-being supported by cultural understanding."
More of Caden Lane's art can be found on his Instagram page: @visiamion