Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal is a mixed-media artist, community activist, and perpetual learner. Born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, she has been a visitor to Otôskwanihk/Mohkinstsis (Calgary) for the past nine years. Cardinal traces her ancestral roots back to both Nêhiyaw and Deutsch decent. Graduating from AUArts in 2015, Cardinal has since been a recipient of the National BMO 1st Art! Competition Award as well as the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Award in 2017. Cardinal has been an active member in the urban Indigenous community within Treaty 7 Territory, activating roles through Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society, Native Counselling Services of Alberta, the Midewiwin Teaching Lodge Society of Alberta, and currently through Miskanawah’s Diamond Willow Youth Lodge. Cardinal’s work continues to be a reflection of the teachings she receives along her journey; it is an invitation for others to become a part of the process, to partake in its making.
Our conversation takes place in the wake of the revelations about the abuse suffered by indigenous humans at the hands of religiously motivated colonialists in Canadian communities schools and we discuss how art can be a site of healing and how we must all be attentive and responsible for that healing.