Visions of Ancient Ancestors (1994) Norval Morrisseau

Visions of Ancient Ancestors
Norval Morrisseau
1994, Acrylic on Canvas, 42 x 62

One may advocate for peace in many different ways as the faces of peace are as varied as the peoples of this earth. Some people use words, some political activism, some peaceful resistance, others work to broker peace or act as iconic images of the meaning of peace. Canada is very proud that native artist Norval Morrisseau took up paintbrushes to provide the world with colourful images depicting the importance of living at peace with oneself and nature. In addition to a significant oeuvre that sends strong messages of peace world wide, Mr. Morrisseau himself serves an an icon of peace.

Mr. Morrisseau is a model of hope and survival for indigenous peoples. He has instilled in them a sense of pride in their heritage and identity. He is the founder of a new artistic way of depicting native legends. A pioneer with his own works, he is the mentor to generations of new artists. Additionally, he has overcome great personal difficulties throughout his life and he bravely continues to face the challenges of ill health. His life is as inspirational as his art.

Mr. Morrisseau’s art works hang in public places in Canada and world-wide. He has taken aboriginal art out of a narrow niche and made its powerful messages available to a broad and diverse audience, important messages that would get even more recognition with a Nobel Peace Prize.

Messages such as:

  • We are connected to nature and to one another.
  • We must live in harmony with nature and one another.
  • We must be at peace with ourselves.

Norval Morrisseau’s symbolic messages, colourfully rendered, are important not just for our time, but also for any time as he is building peace for himself, his people and for the world from the inside out. Pride in one’s heritage, identity and self will always be great starting points for establishing a peaceful world.

Angie Littlefield