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Old Sun Boys - Adrian Stimson

This book, Old Sun Boys, by Adrian Stimson, is published in relation to my project A Public Apology to Siksika Nation. To summarise briefly, my great grandfather, the Reverend John William Tims, was the first missionary to the Siksika people, arriving at Siksika Nation eighty miles outside of Calgary in the summer of 1883, not long after the reserve was created through the signing of Treaty 7 with the Canadian government (the 'Crown'). There he met both Chief Crowchild (Isaac-Muxika), who signed the Treaty, and also the famous medicine man, chief, and warrior, Old Sun (Naato'saapi), who had originally resisted the Treaty but finally succumbed.

Old Sun was Adrian Stimson's great grandfather. The Rev. Mr. Tims was instrumental in the attempt to destroy Siksika culture: establishing the first residential school, which he ironically named after Old Sun; taking the children away from their parents; forcing them to speak English and to dress like British school children. The catastrophic results are summarised in my book A Public Apology to Siksika Nation (New York: Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 2020).

On the occasion of the first Toronto Biennial of Art in 2019, I invited Adrian Stimson to present artwork in response to my presentation, A Public Apology to Siksika Nation, which I presented there for the first time in the form of a performance, a book, and an installation. Old Sun Boys was one of several artworks presented by Adrian, now transformed into this book. These photographs from Old Sun Residential School document the class of 1995, including Adrian's father.

- AA Bronson, February 19, 2020

New York: Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 2020
285 x 225 mm

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