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Cree Artists Directory

List of registered artists and artisans from Eeyou Istchee and surrounding areas.

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Nikki Baribeau

Multidisciplinary Arts:
Literature | Storytelling
Location: Mistissini
Website: https://realitycheckwithnikki.blogspot.com/

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Short description of your art.

My name is Nikki Baribeau First and foremost I am a teacher and I am a student at Bishop’s University studying in a double bachelor's in Art, Education with a minor in Psychology. I am a self-published author. I recently published a children’s storybook titled “The Truth About My Education” which talks about the James Bay Cree experience with the Indian Residential Schools. I am working on a second book which will be titled “Jiwehdao – Let’s go home” which entails a fictional story about a young girl who journeys her way back to the Cree land. The story is meant to spark conversation about missing and murdered indigenous women. The art in my books are done by friends, colleagues, and myself. Although my goal is to work with other Indigenous artists in completing my books in the future.

Where did you learn your art?

For the past three years, I have been studying at Bishop's University in Arts. I have been studying painting, drawing, sculpting, videography, and history. A combination of my education and some personal interest has resulted in my many skills in the arts. For my passion for embroidery and sewing, I learned in Cree culture classes at Voyageur Memorial School.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Throughout my studies, I have done a lot of research on Indigenous history and the issues facing Indigenous communities past and present, many of my art illustrates an adapted version which encompasses the truth within it. I also get a lot of inspiration when I am meditating and thinking back on the days I spent in the bush or on the journey of wellness. I grew up in Mistissini so I had a great amount of opportunity learning traditional activities throughout my life. Those moments are precious to me and when I think back on those times, I get great inspiration from them in many forms.

Have you received any formal training?

Yes form Bishop's University and at Voyageur Memorial School.

What other art forms do you practice?

Embroidery, painting, sculpting, recycled art, feather embroidery, drawing and of course sewing.

Have you ever received any awards or special recognition?

Yes, I received two awards from Bishop's University for my work with the Indigenous Cultural Alliance Club. I received a formal invitation as an Indigenous representative on the Commissions de Ministeres de l'Education de Canada. I also have been recognized as the best teacher on the Nation on the "Cree Nations Best" article.

Do you sell your work? If so, how?

Yes, my books are available on Amazon for 19.99$ (plus tax and shipping) Link: https://www.amazon.ca/truth-about-my-Education/dp/1709194383/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+truth+about+my+education&qid=1578971312&sr=8-1 I also sell them in person for 15$ per book.

Has your art work ever been mentioned in any media?

Yes, I had an interview on JBCCS to talk about my book and the purpose of the book.

Please provide any information on your buyers.

Although my target audience for my first book is school-aged children, I would like for everyone to read it and start asking questions and take an interest in Indigenous history. We are living in a time where our elders who were witnesses to the Indian Residential Schools are slowly leaving this earth My book is sold internationally on Amazon. I also attended a few Cree gatherings in Montreal to sell my books My mother and my aunt have helped deliver my books in Mistissini and Chisasibi.

Please provide any other information you would like to mention.

I am offering book tours and book signing to where ever I am needed. When I give a book tour at a school I usually offer to take over 1 period of each classroom to give a lesson, answer questions and to read the book with the children. As I am a teacher first, I love working with children and giving important and meaningful lessons on Indigenous related topics. I am currently working on establishing my own Publishing company and with that, I plan to tour eeyou istchee and generate books with Cree children and publish them.