Joe Lanceley or “Tipi Joe” is the owner of Tipi Joe Creations and the director of the non-profit group Red Willow Tipi. A member of Mistawasis First Nation he grew up in Brandon, Manitoba where he pursued his business education at Brandon University before eventually settling in Winnipeg. An entrepreneur from an early age, with a diverse work history he has owned several businesses along his way. Today Tipi Joe is well known as a multi-media artist, business owner and educator. Always creating and learning new things, Tipi Joe Creations has become a new Aboriginal business model for innovation and product design.
Recently, I have retraced my steps and journey across the great plains, travelling from Winnipeg, Manitoba (birthplace of the Metis Nation, Treaty One Territory, and home to the Anishnaabe, Cree, Dene, and Lakota peoples) to the Sonoran Desert in New Mexico, USA. Seventeen years has passed and my current life seems so different from that path so long ago. In that time, I have had many experiences and when teaching about cycles, I should know as well as any, that everything moves in a circle. This exhibition is cumulative expression of my journey. A path guided by the stars, across the great plains to the land of the condor and Venado Azul (Talum, Mexico); I have been following the traditional path of the Eagle and the Condor. I navigate the urban Indigenous experience by combining traditional techniques with modern practices. My Indigenous worldview can be understood through the movement of light through the tipi – the daily, monthly, and yearly cycles and is an exploration of our traditional star knowledge in its use for storytelling, navigation, and food security. This project is a personal journey through grief, loss, growth, and rebirth; guided by my elders, my ancestors, and my family. This is my story of how I discovered my path and my place in the circle.
Special thanks to University of Manitoba: School of Art