Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew

Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew is a Cree/French Canadian half-breed from the Peace River region in Northern Alberta. Since his studies at Emily Carr College of Art & Design and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, he has established a practice as a media-integrated performance artist and writer while also working for the past ten years as an arts administrator contributing to opportunities for First Nations artists within artist-run culture, including a two year First Nations arts administration internship at the Canada Council in Ottawa.

His critical writing in Mix Magazine and Fuse magazine addresses many aspects of contemporary First Nations arts practice. His creative works concentrate on examinations of the ways that First Nations history, spirituality, and language influence and operate within contemporary First Nations experience of urbanized street-level fringe culture including the influences of drugs, prostitution, and other forms of criminalization, especially within the lives of those young First Nations people who are forced to negotiate danger, empowerment and, too often, mere survival at these margins.

His last project was the writing, artistic direction and coordination of the collaborative performance project Asowaha at the grunt gallery in Vancouver. Prior to that he co-curated, with Debra Piapot, the nine artist collaborative performance series Nanatowihitowin Acimowina (Healing Stories) at the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He has performed at artist-run centres in Vancouver and Quebec City; served on a number of arts juries, recommendation committees, and advisory panels; and was privileged to be one of the assistant technical coordinators at the Edge '90 Performance and Installation Art Festival in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

His current project, Isi-pikiskwewin Ayahpikesisak (Speaking the Language of Spiders), is part of a larger multi-year collaborative production that will be initiated as a World Wide Web screenplay/storyboard (for later production as a CD-ROM and subsequently as an installation) in the Pop, Mass n' Subcultures Residency at the Banff Centre. Support is gratefully acknowledged for this phase of development from the Canada Council Media Arts Computer Integrated Media Program and the Banff Centre for the Arts Media and Visual Arts Program.

Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew (1958 - 2006)
On September 26, 2006, Ahasiw passed away leaving his partner Alain Malo, three brothers Jack Macauley, Garry Hachey, Patrick Hachey and many friends and colleagues to mourn. He was predeceased by his parents Margaret Hachey (nee Macauley) and Laurier Hachey. Ahasiw was a brilliant artist, writer and curator who has greatly influenced the Aboriginal arts community, particularly in the development of web-based media arts. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues. Ahasiw did not wish to have a service to mark his passing from this world. Instead, he requested that Alain and his good friend Michelle Brass hold a memorial in a special place close to nature. His wishes will be fulfilled at 2:00 p.m. on October 14, 2006 at King Mountain in Gatineau Park Quebec. For those who would like to attend this special memorial, we will be convening at the parking lot at Promenade de la Gatineau and Rue Gamelin in Gatineau at 1:30 p.m. Flowers most gratefully declined. Friends so wishing may make donations to the AIDS Foundation of Canada.
Tears of grief is the blood of angels being shed
The wound of losing you cuts so deep
Their blood warmly flows out of my eyes
as I imagine you and what you meant to me
My tears are so pure and precious
Salt from my wound teases my lips
that wish to kiss you again on the face
You are gone now but never forgotten