Images and reality of First Nation women
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The turn of the twentieth century was a time when it was believed Aboriginal population numbers were rapidly declining. As the prevailing belief in the demise of these people persisted, a belief that continued into the 1930s, artists, writers and photographers were keen to preserve a record of a vanishing race through the lens of photography, artistry and words, perpetuating the enduring image of Aboriginal people. With reference to First Nation women, in particular Nuu’Chah’Nulth women, I want to consider the photographs of Edward Curtis in the context of political, cultural and social change, and consider how photographs have shaped and continue to shape people’s understanding of First Nation people by allowing negative cultural stereotypes to be preserved.