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Safe Spaces: Religion

Samuel Crowfoot

Samuel Crowfoot is the great-great-great grandson of Chief Crowfoot, who was instrumental in establishing Treaty 7. Samuel is shaped by his ancestral history, formed by a sordid, colonized world. Samuel was raised Mormon in Southern Alberta and has since left the religion. While most of his extended family still practice, Samuel's journey leaving Mormonism has been complex. This body of work explores his journey to find his place among his people, culture, and history. To guide this group of images, Samuel’s words speak to some of his experiences:


“The hardest part about being Indigenous and leaving from/reprogramming from a high demanding religion/cult, is that you have no more safe spaces. Religion replaced my culture and consumed my time spent studying the Book of Mormon, Doctrine of Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price (Mormon books of doctrine).  

While I was immersing my self in a racist and bigoted religion, I could've been learning my songs, my dances, my language, my prayers, my creation stories and [my] true identity. Instead, I am filled with fabricated legends of Nephites, Lamanites…buried gold plates, and how brown skin like mine is a curse. 

My underlying experience is that I feel robbed of knowing my true culture and cheated out of my heritage. I am awakening from the colonized religious matrix, into a world of lost opportunity and wasted time. I am trying to catch up.”

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