Beatroute BC on Instagram

  • westwardfest is happening this September! Tickets go on sale Februaryhellip
  • entershikari are bona fide masters of versatility with a genreblendinghellip
  • ExOzzy Osbourne guitarist and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wyldehellip
  • Welsh pop punk outfit Neck Deep are playing at voguetheatrehellip
  • typhoonfamilyvacations show at rickshawtheatre on February 24 is just onehellip
  • Dan Starlings experimental film The Chorus provides a fresh takehellip
  • Already backed by a considerable YouTube following for her ukelelehellip
  • Noble Oak is taking the Rhodes less travelled Check outhellip
  • Rise  Shine Music Seminar is an event to showcasehellip

‘Intangible,’ Ronnie Dean Harris Tells a New Story that Reflects, Respects His Ancestral History

Friday 08th, September 2017 / 16:05
by Becca Clarkson

The Bill Reid Gallery exhibition will feature Ronnie Dean Harris’ spoken word video, “Speak of What You Know.”

VANCOUVER – As he spells out his ancestral name, Mlo:yhleq, for me over the phone, Ronnie Dean Harris is parked beside the river in Yale, BC. Harris, or Ostwelve when he’s rapping, was given this name in the very same place 27 years ago where his five times great grandfather, James, was Chief during the 1913 Hells Gate Landslide. Harris knows this because his greatest passion, besides hip-hop, is research. As one of six artists showcased in Bill Reid Gallery’s upcoming installment Intangible: Memory and Innovation in Coast Salish Art, Harris is putting his passions together through a spoken word video titled “Speak of What You Know.”

For Harris, an organizer for the NGO Wild Salmon Caravan, it is a full circle moment to be in the same place that his people carried wild salmon over that landslide to safety.

“Our names are given to us as a responsibility to carry the history,” Harris tells me.

Like his ancestors who wove baskets, Harris weaves words. Hip-hop, which he claims is responsible for his impressive titles (graphic designer, podcast host, actor, composer, editor, academic, musician, and dancer) allowed for him to transcend the limits of his origin. Design and branding became an important part of his career — not just for artistic promotion, but also because of the historical significance.

“Indigenous people have used design and branding to express themselves for centuries,” Harris explains, citing totem poles, living spaces, traditional clothing, and eating tools as examples. Canada’s tourism industry has co-opted Coast Salish art, yet many aspects of Harris’ culture — ceremonies, artifacts, songs, and stories — are too sacred to show or share. The mediums that Harris combine in his work speak to the complexities within Coast Salish identity.

As we speak, he is still writing the piece that will be showcased between September 13 – December 10. Taking the time to research his ancestors and inhabit the spaces they and their stories come from are his priority. The deadline doesn’t phase him. He’ll be satisfied knowing that the project will be the most current dialogue between him, his ancestors, and future generations.

Intangible runs from September 13 – December 10 at the Bill Reid Gallery.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: is a member of Apple Music's Affiliate Program. This site collects commissions on purchases that our site's readers decide to make from Apple Music/iTunes affiliate embeds and hyperlinks provided in our posts.




The Heirlooms on avoiding genre traps and keeping momentum  

The Heirlooms on avoiding genre traps and keeping momentum  

By Jodi Brak    CALGARY – Seeking to create something honest, something reflective of internal struggles and the satisfaction of…

, , ,

Beatroute AB on Instagram

  • I Am The Mountain are set to release something soulfulhellip
  • February 2018 issue out now  This month features Amythysthellip
  • Sup? Feel like going to a party? Heard there willhellip
  • Cartel Madras is playing the first ever hiphop set tohellip
  • How it Feels by Scenic Route to Alaska is ahellip
  • This is just the first wave people Over 200 morehellip
  • Video premiere alert! Erin Kay debuts Holding You Tonight exclusivelyhellip
  • NorthernCree are the worlds premier powwow round dance drum andhellip
  • Win tickets to see Jenn Grant live at the Theatrehellip