Dallas Karonhia’nó:ron Canady Binette
❝ Some time ago, I listened on YouTube to Lakota storyteller and water protector, Dallas Goldtooth, talking about the Prophecy of the Black Snake. He related a story of a vision that came to an elder a long time ago, in which she saw the world being destroyed as a black snake slithered its way around Turtle Island and began to restrict access to the land and the water. Everywhere the snake went, came destruction. And this was not limited purely to Indigenous folks, it affected those of all creeds and all colors. Certainly, if nothing was done about this snake, it would bring an end to us all. But then came the matriarchs. From their homelands they came, gathered together, and decided that it was time to do something for the good people of the Earth. So, with the women leading the way, they made the black snake release its hold of Turtle Island, once again restoring peace, harmony, and plenty to the water, the sky, and the land.
Digital painting, 2020
1500 x 900 pixels
Heavily inspired by that prophecy, this piece was created out of support for the Wet’suwet’en land defenders who have been trying to stop the spread of the ‘black snake’ (pipelines) through their lands. This is a fight Indigenous peoples have been waging since First Contact, as colonial powers continue to encroach on our rights and violate treaties made between settlers and traditional Indigenous governments in order to drill and transport crude oil and ‘natural’ gas. Often, these atrocities can make us feel like strangers in the places we have lived in for millennia. Having to reiterate time and time again that we belong here is not only exhausting, but costly. And yet, we persist, we exist, we rise. Because this land is not only our home—it’s quite simply bound to us on a spiritual, emotional, and cultural level. Land is sacred. Water is sacred. We are a part of it as much as it’s a part of us.❞
Dallas Karonhia’nó:ron Canady Binette is a two-spirit Kanienkéha’ka (Mohawk) artist from Kanehsatake First Nation. Self-taught, he has used digital art as a medium to express himself and his indigenous identity for over 7 years. He focuses mainly on concept art and character design, but recently has turned towards using his art as an effective means to shed light on issues relating to colonialism and generational trauma.
Canady Binette draws on experiences from his childhood, where he moved around the mainland United States for several years before re-settling in Canada. Often, this meant feeling like a stranger in his own home. Combined with the fact that his Native roots were hidden from him for many years, self-knowledge and understanding were fraught and confusing.
As a teenager, he began to examine his gender identity and sexuality, and found that he felt most comfortable expressing this in a largely LGBTQ+ art space online. His character designs represented internal feelings, and allowed him a space to feel safe when the real world seemed unaccepting. Being able to make art and converse with like-minded people was empowering, and inspired him to create more
In 2015, he moved back to the greater Montréal area to finish his education. Finally, he was able to reconnect with his Kanienkéha’ka roots, learning more about his culture, and most importantly, his family. Having a newfound, deep appreciation of who he was and from where he came gave him a greater sense of the importance of his path as an artist. Now in 2020, he aims to use his skills to illuminate issues that have been facing indigenous peoples since time immemorial. All of this is inspired by a deep respect for his ancestors, Mother Earth, and hope for the next seven generations. He is very much inspired by other indigenous artists such as Tsista Kennedy (Ojibwe/Oneida) and Christi Belcourt (Michif).
Dallas Karonhia’nó:ron Canady Binette
Instagram | Commission Info
Freelance Digital Artist (self-employed) — 2015 to present
Creation and sale of commissioned artworks
Specialization in character designs, portraits and paintings
Frequent collaborations with other digital artists
Usage of art as social/political activism
Understanding of marketing strategies and the acquisition of commissioners
Digital Artist — 2013 to present
Creation and display of personal artworks online
Understanding of different styles/mediums/brushes/etc, learning from other artists
McGill University — September 2020 to June 2023
Minor: First Peoples’ Studies
Dawson College — August 2018 to June 2020
Program: General Social Sciences