Two computer-generated characters are seen face to face in profile. On the left is a soldier wearing a helmet and a bullet-proof vest. On the right is a man with his face masked by a scarf. Behind them we see barbwire and a forest.


(b. Kahnawake, Quebec, 1969)


Episode 03 (from the series TimeTravellerTM, 2008-2013)



9 min 7 sec (75 min 43 sec for the 9 episodes)

Courtesy of the artist

© Skawennati

TimeTravellerTM, by the new-media artist Skawennati, is a nine-episode machinima series developed between 2008 and 2013 in the virtual world Second Life, where users can create and activate avatars. Skawennati’s avatar here is Hunter, a young Mohawk living in Montréal in 2121 who travels back in time to live through events that have marked indigenous history. In an episode on the 1990 Oka Crisis, Hunter embodies a warrior who confronts a Canadian soldier to defend territory claimed by his ancestors. The scene reconstructs an iconic photo of a confrontation that occurred at Kanesatake during the Crisis.

AlthoughTimeTravellerTM dates to 2008-2013, it fittingly represents 1990 here. That was the year of the Oka Crisis, which the work revisits. Skawennati (Skawennati Tricia Fragnito) was born in the Territory of Kahnawake to a Mohawk mother and an Italian father. A fascination with science fiction and cyberspace led her to create new-media works that address the concepts of history and identity. In populating the virtual world with characters that take a stand in the past, present and future, as inTimeTravellerTM, she constructs a place and a history for the Indigenous imagination. Skawennati co‑directs Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists dealing with Indigenous virtual environments.