Plenary Speakers and National Aboriginal Role Models were honoured for their contributions towards improving the health and well being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities with a special gift commissioned by two Aboriginal artists for the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) 2009 National Conference.
“NAHO is grateful for the art pieces,” says Dr. Paulette C. Tremblay, CEO of NAHO. “The involvement of David M. General and Steve Smith, both world renowned artists, has added a culturally appropriate touch to the conference gifts of appreciation.”
During the National Aboriginal Role Model Reunion Banquet on Tuesday November 24, 2009, each Role Model in attendance received a Phases of the Moon 2009 bronze pendant created by David M. General, who has developed a distinctive style for works in marble and bronze.
Phases of the Moon pays homage to women. Grandmother Moon plays a prominent role in First Nations legends and teachings – Phases of the Moon is a tribute to her benevolence. The design of Grandmother Moon depicts the new, full and old moons and their influence on the tides.
“Art holds the greatest potential for demonstrating ones individuality, commitment and patience,” says David M. General, Phases of the Moon artist.
Each Plenary Speaker received a handmade piece of pottery from Six Nations potter Steve Smith. Smith‟s themes are depicted on artfully etched pottery with each piece being one-of-a-kind. He uses geometric designs to represent a blending of natural laws with manmade laws as they pertain to business and commerce. His works have often been described as modern versions of ancient poetry.
“When you get a piece of artwork, you don‟t want people to say,"mine is just like yours.‟ No two will ever be identical,” says Steven Smith. “My pottery speaks of the balance between industry and the natural world.”
NAHO brought Aboriginal health care professionals from across Canada, the United States and abroad to host the most engaging and informative national health conference this year.