The Welcome Back Project > Community Art Crawl

Please Remove Your Shoes
Please Remove Your Shoes
Porcupine quills, glue, welcome mat
23.5 x 35 inches

Artist Collective: Wolf Babe Collective
Location: Possible Worlds (Hintonburg)

he porcupine’s quills provide a layer of protection against predators, increasing their chance of survival from an attack. Indigenous peoples use these same gifts to adorn ourselves with quilled jewelry and regalia. When processed by skilled artists the sharp quills are morphed into florals, geometric motifs and other designs, where they become carriers of story. For our mat, we honour these gifts with the sharpness still intact spelling out the word WELCOME. Our people have always been welcoming, but after hundreds of years of colonial violence we have learned from our porcupine relatives to always protect our most vulnerable, those who may not be deemed 'welcome' in certain spaces. Whether in public or private spaces, the welcome mat identifies the place one shifts decorum to match the standard of the one who holds most power.

Wolfe Babe Collective is:
- Alexandra Kahsenniio Nahwegahbow is Anishinaabe and Kanien’kehá:ka and a member of Whitefish River First Nation with maternal roots in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory.
- Tanis Worme is a Cree artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Treaty #6 territory and a member of the Poundmaker Cree Nation, with maternal roots in Mistawasis First Nation and paternal roots in Kawacatoose First Nation.
- Joi T. Arcand is an artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory.
- Danielle Printup is a Hodinohso:ni / Anishnaabe arts administrator and curator from Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg, QC, with maternal roots in Ohsweken, ON.

Photo credit: Rémi Thériault