top of page

Karalyn Reuben’s work references the photographic style of Edward Curtis, an ethnographic photographer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Curtis was commissioned to document the “vanishing Indian,” a rhetoric used throughout Western expansion propaganda rendering the representation of Indigenous peoples as stoic, docile, or invisible.


We continue to recognize the use of similarly homogenous representations in contemporary visual culture associated with professional sport. The imagery used does not represent any specific person or nation. Rather, it makes a more simplified umbrella stereotype minimizing Indigenous identity to a single representation—a racist classification that only represents an imagined colonial ideal of what and who an indigenous person is. By using the former Cleveland Indians’ mascot Chief Wahoo’s face across her own, Reuben reveals how these negative stereotypes harm Indigenous peoples’ views of themselves, and how members of the settler states see them in return.


Karalyn Reuben is an urban mixed Oji-Cree German-British artist from London, Ontario. Through her interdisciplinary practice, she investigates an explanation for life and ways of being human. Drawn to a responsibility to share how she thinks and feels, Reuben hopes to connect with others in search of herself through mutual, grounding understanding. She holds a BFA in Indigenous Visual Culture from OCADU, and an Interdisciplinary BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.


This limited-edition tote bag, printed by Antler River Press, was co-produced by McIntosh Gallery and Forest City Gallery with artist Karalyn Reuben.


Edition of 50. Comes with info card. 14.5" x 14.5" 

Not Your Vanishing Indian, Not Your Mascot Tote by Karalyn Reuben

    bottom of page