You are here»» Home»» Artist's Statements

Artists' statements regarding the "Friends United" project

David J. Brooks:

“The book "Friends United" is an empowering visual experience for all of the readers and Native artists involved. Rolf Bouman's insight into Native arts and artists has sent this book into prestigious heights. For all those who assisted in contributing to this beautiful book, thank you.”

Lorne A. Julien:

“I only see positive things in the future. I have accomplished a lot in the past two years. I can only see positive things happen, as long as I stay steadfast with my artwork and just continue to try being open minded to my work and the art world.”

“The work I have sold to Rolf has improved my life and has improved some of the lives around me, especially my family, my children and I’m hoping to give a sense of hope to other First Nations people and First Nations artists to pursue their hopes and dreams.”

“A thing, I have always wanted to stress, was my gratitude and gratefulness to Rolf for supporting me in all the ways he has… Welalin, thank you.”

Darren Julian:

“I have been able to use the money I made for supplies.” “With the prints from Rolf, I can sell my work and still have a picture of it. Before when I sold something, I’d never see it again.”

Fancy PeterPaul:

“My life has become better. I started out with nothing.” “I lost before, but now I’ve gained.” “My Chief and Council were really happy...they were amazed.” “It really changed my life. I didn’t have clothes; I didn’t even have enough money to pay for my house, until Rolf helped me. I respect that guy.”

Raven Davis:

“I am honoured to be a part of the “Friends United” book and initiative. The exposure and support I have received from Rolf and the Canada Cultural Centre, has bloomed into a wonderful opportunity of a life time. I have gained exposure to international markets that will further advance my goals of becoming a self sustaining Aboriginal artist." "I believe Rolf, as a business person, understands that any project would eventually fail, if there is no long-term sustainability plan in place. As a result, I feel he is trying to guide the artists and their efforts in becoming self-sustained, independent entrepreneurs and to work collectively and united, rather than competing with one another.”

Sandra Simon:

"Dear Rolf, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting, believing in me and encouraging me in continuing to make my quill boxes. Before I met you, I had stopped making quill boxes, because people did not pay me fairly and sometimes not at all for my work. I am the last of a group of twelve to practice the art of quill box making in Nova Scotia and now I have the opportunity to even teach this art to other young Native people, so that this important tradition is passed on."

"Since I began with the Friends United project, I have been able to support my family and make a good living out of selling my baskets to you. This project has also helped my son Darren and my daughter in-law Mandy out so much. I am so proud that they are painting so successfully for the Friends United project."  

"When I walk into the Friends United Convention Centre and I see my work on display, it makes me feel so proud of our people, our arts and crafts and it gives me hope that more and more people will grow to appreciate our culture and art."  

"I feel honoured that also people like the Former National Chief Phil Fontaine know about the project, endorse it and I was especially honoured to be interviewed by German TV during the filming of the documentary at the Friends United Convention Centre. I had the opportunity to talk about my baskets and explain the process of making them. I am happy to hear that, people as far as Germany will be able to see me making my baskets. The exposure is great and I thank you for making this possible and helping my family so much."