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Jessie Jannuska

Akiktonz’a S’ni 

an exhibition by Jessie Jannuska

Dec 15, 2023 – June 15, 2024

Akiktonz’a S’ni –means ‘Not Forgotten’ in Dakota

Trigger warning: Residential School content.

Grandparents – Portage la Prairie Residential School, Jessie Jannuska

Artist Statement

Akiktonz’a S’ni utilizes beading, dreamcatcher technique, hide, and sinew to understand the intergenerational effects of the Residential Schools. Jessie Jannuska’s ancestry is mixed Dakota, Ojibway, and settler. She was raised in an environment affected by the intergenerational effects of Residential Schools. As an artist, she is interested in understanding how this trauma shapes relationships in her family. Akiktonz’a S’ni addresses the experience of poverty, addiction, and loss of Indigenous culture. Residential Schools were in operation in Canada for over one hundred years. Residential Schools have been operating in her family for her entire life.

This media was traditional to Indigenous peoples and had a ten thousand-year history on this land. The tactile quality of these materials offers a history to her work. Many of these techniques were learned from Jannuska’s elders and knowledge keepers. Jessie is grateful to these elders and knowledge keepers who have helped her create and understand this work – Barb Blind, Julia Brandon, Frank Tacan, Roberta MacKinnon and her grandfather Mervin Demas. That act of visiting an elder or knowledge keeper continues to be important to her practice.


Artist Biography

Jessie Jannuska is a Winnipeg-based interdisciplinary visual artist with mixed Dakota, Ojibway, and settler ancestry. Her family is from Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honours from Brandon University in 2018. Jannuska primarily works in oil, acrylic, watercolour, pencil, pen, mixed media, beading, and murals. She has had eight solo exhibitions and participated in over thirty group exhibitions. Her work can be found in the Provincial Art Collection of Manitoba.

Jannuska teaches freelance art workshops in beading, dreamcatchers, painting, drawing, and sweetgrass baskets across Manitoba. Her most prominent awards include the CCA Research and Creation grant and the MAC Arts Leader Grant. 


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