The Salt Spring
National Art Prize


— About the Artist

Michael NF Cywink
Ingersoll, ON

Nimkii Giizis nindizhinikaaz. Ajijak nindoodem. My spirit name is Thunder Day, and I am Crane clan. My English name is Michael Cywink, and I currently live just outside of London, Ontario. I work with Indigenous youth throughout the school board here in London with a focus on healthy relationships, leadership opportunities, and strong cultural components intertwined throughout. I paint to teach others about my culture, about myself, and to add colour to a world that can be somewhat grey at times. I'm constantly trying to grow as an artist, as a person, and to be better than I was yesterday.

— The winning piece

The Return

Acrylic on canvas, unframed

30" x 40"

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Artwork Statement

As we walk our path, we must always remember those that fought to keep our traditions and cultures alive. We must continue that fight for the ones who are coming next. We won't use our fists but will use our language, medicines, culture, and ceremony. The fight against colonization, the fight for our land back, the fight to protect mother earth, and the fight against the concrete jungle is to make the world a better place. We must be a voice for the voiceless, to protect the water, the animals, and each other.