While the overall tone of the book appears to be positive, the authors and artists also touch upon the darker topics, such as past wars, injustices, and current environmental issues. The book includes an entire chapter devoted to the military art and a few artworks, such as Carapace by Brian Jungen, make an allusion to industrialization and its impact on our environment.
The idea beyond this project was “to celebrate the beauty and power of our shared spaces, and a reminder that we all live by the gifts of the land. This is a book that acknowledges the power of art to reveal what is hidden, to make visible the landscapes of our imagination.” Despite the past tensions between the Europeans and the Natives, the authors seem to be optimistic about future. They believe that art can help us to create common grounds for dialogue between different ethnic groups that now occupy Canadian soil. It is interesting to note that not all the artists presented in The Good Lands have Native background, but almost all have some form of affinity with Native culture. Local landscapes, wildlife, and cultural elements (i.e., Indigenous clothes, canoes) are the most common themes of their artworks.
As the proofreader, I was responsible for the final version of the French counterpart, Un Territoire À Partager. I must say that it’s been also a wonderful opportunity to work with talented people who are highly knowledgeable of the subject matter. In the process, I learned about the power of teamwork, as the project involved a lot of communication with different parties, including authors, fellow editors, and the publisher’s management team.
Both English and French versions are now available online at Amazon and Chapters Indigo as well as through local bookstores. To learn more about the book, you can also visit the publisher’s page created specifically for The Good Lands.