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Duane Linklater (Omaskêko Cree, b. 1976)

Modest Livelihood

Date: 2012
Medium: Super 16mm film transferred to digital video (color, silent); 50 min.

Credit Line: Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Photo Credit: Installation view from Modest Livelihood, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, 2013. Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Photo: SITE Photography

Linklater and his friend (and fellow artist) Brian Jungen filmed Modest Livelihood while hunting moose with Jungen’s uncle, Dane-zaa elder Jack Askoty, on Treaty 8 territory in northern British Columbia. Hunting is central to each artist’s Indigenous identity but is charged with the debate over the legal status of ancestral ways of living, much of which hinges on the interpretation of treaty provisions pertaining to the sustenance of a “moderate livelihood.” While the title evokes the struggle for Indigenous self-determination, the film depicts hunting as a deeply relational, intergenerational ritual that connects contemporary Indigenous life to its precontact origins.

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