Photo by Daisy Wu
On a white background, text reads "stop line 3 land back," with syllabics at the bottom of the image. Hundreds of black and white drawn human figures hold and get attacked by various dogs jumping at them. A large black snake curls through the crowd.
Artist(s): Beyon Wren Moor

Black Snake Defeated / ᑲᐢᑭᑌ ᑭᓀᐱᐠ ᒥᓯᓂᐦᐋᐤ

Completed: 2021

Artist Statement: “This painting is called ‘black snake defeated’ and depicts the fields of war I stood on in 2016, when pipeline security deployed attack dogs on peaceful Indigenous water protectors at Oceti Sakowin in the early days of Standing Rock. The painting represents the full story arc of how colonization has turned us against each other: the figures holding the dogs, and those being attacked by them, are one and the same. Yet at its center, we are all gathered around the head of the snake as it is finally beheaded. It’s a vision of a victorious future that does not yet exist, but the belief in it continues to unite living generations of Indigenous people around what our ancestors fought for and enables sightlines into decolonial futures. It’s the vision that brought these thousands of people together at Standing Rock, and that’s currently bringing thousands of people together just a hundred kilometers south of here to Stop Line 3. The great removal, Residential School, Gustafson Lake, Kanehsatake, Wet’suwet’en Raids, Fairy Creek, Standing Rock — every collision between capitalism and Indigenous livelihood is taking place all over again at Line 3, as Enbridge Inc. works to carry tar sands across Ojibwe/Chippewa/Anishinaabe traditional rice fields, reservation lands, and the Red River I grew up on. With wildfire smoke hanging overhead in the sky, water protectors are being beaten, shot with rubber bullets and hauled to jail so that new and unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure can be created — while the original Line 3 disintegrates, another environmental catastrophe waiting to happen. Though Enbridge has characterized this new initiative as a Line 3 extension, it is in fact a brand new pipeline being built, and the company plans to completely abandon the original Line 3. When that original pipeline breaks — and it is already beginning to — its poisons will wash downstream to Winnipeg within a day. The water protectors on the ground at Line 3 need support, urgently, to stop this from happening. Our moment is now, right now. We might not have another one. It is time to listen to Indigenous peoples on our land.”

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Where to Find This Mural

Location: 631 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1E1, Canada Get Directions