Initiative For Indigenous Futures

an Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace production

Illustrating the
Future Imaginary

We asked artists to illustrate themselves or their indigenous communities seven, ten or twenty generations from now – thinking within science fiction territory.
Illustrating the Future Imaginary on Flickr


Kaleikulaakeliiokalani Makua (Native Hawaiian) Ua Hoʻi Mai

“The title of this piece translates as ʻReturned’. The prompt for the creation of this piece is imagining how my ancestors will live many generations in the future. I am hopeful that the Hawaiian culture will continue to revitalize and exist in the contemporary world.”


Connor Pion (Mixed non-status urban cree / atimekw / métis Tkaronto / Dish with One Spoon Treaty Territory) ᐋᐣᒋᓈᑯᐑᐦᐃᑎᓱ / aandjinaagowiihidizo.

“we are stars and nebulae between grandmother moon and grandfather sun. our spirits stretching from our traditional territories to these cities. they stretch and reach and braid the space-time continua. they vogue, sashay, jingle and grass dance to transcend settler colonial violence. we are the spectrums that bind two halves and we are essential. our presence and powers complete ceremonial circles. not of one nor the other but both and all. we are in the centre, in between, mixed/abitoose. our rightful place is in the centre, third and fourth genders and beyond — infinite/asakamik. we are earthseeds and our destiny is to one day return to and take root in starworld/giizhigong.”

Moanaroa Te Whata. (Maori of Ngapuhi and Ngati Porou tribes) Ambassador of Aotearoa

“I think in 7 generations from now we (humans) will be doing pretty well. After a few more wars, things like corporate greed, war, and prejudice will be seen as a distant lesson on what not to do. Eventually things will be all good here and there will be a perfect balance between the old world and the new. Aliens will finally decide it is safe enough to drop their invisibility shield and come hang out. My descendants will act as ambassadors to these beings and will welcome them with open arms, food and dance. Overall I’m hoping for a positive future for my descendants where they will still have their culture, be happy, and the world won’t turn to custard.

I was thinking of the archway (whareroa) in downtown Auckland that leads into Aotea Square. Aotea Square is a public space that holds open concerts, markets, festivals and political rallies. I felt that it would be a good place to reimagine. The cityscapes in this picture show the development to come in the future. So seeing as it’s not on a marae, it’s not a traditional welcoming. It’s basically a welcoming though the gateway into the city to meet the people.”

Veregge, Jeffrey. Bold_Steps-presentation

Jeffrey Veregge. (S’Klallam) Bold Steps.

The first Indian in space…

Bush, Kaia Walrus illustration

Kaia’tanoron Bush (Mokawk).

I am a violin teacher in Kahnawake with the Viva! Sistema program. It focuses on providing a social stability for children who may come from less fortunate families or who are unable to afford music lessons. The girls in the drawing are some of my students. The drawing was inspired by these students and David Bowie’s “Starman” hence the title, “Use It”. I was also thinking about the role social media and personal devices will play in young people’s lives and how this might change their futures and of course, as you said, the importance of preserving our traditions and practices. Initially my outlook on the future of Indigenous people was bleak. We spend everyday fighting for tomorrow, it was difficult for me to imagine something beyond 50 years but doing this work made me realize that we can build a kind future for our children.

Campbell, Heather. 7thGeneration 1080p

Heather Campbell (Inuit). 7th Generation Inuit Community.

This painting depicts Inuit communities 7 generations from now. If two or three generations from now, humanity hasn’t destroyed our planet and themselves, it will be because we’ve embraced clean energy. The painting shows windmills which power the community, plus a communal greenhouse to grow food. The domed shaped homes have solar panels on the top, are build to withstand extreme weather, and provide protection from the damaging effects of the sun, which has become more dangerous due to the near depletion of the ozone layer. The homes have their own water supply as well and the dome of the home continues underground to create an orb. People will be forced to spend a lot of their time underground and everything is connected by tunnels. We are all living in the hills now because the polar ice caps have melted, rising the sea level. The earth has become warmer, resulting in the growth of trees further north. But the environment is slowly recovering from what past generations have done to it.


Ray Caplin. Hunter of Altered Game.

16 generations into the future, where Massive corporations and industry have long since coated the planet with towering cities and factories, it was also ages ago that all of earth’s recourses had cease, and the cities where left abandoned to crumble. The density of the cities has made it difficult for nature to reclaim the earth. toxic and radiation had soak the soil, morphing any life that dwell there into mutant like. In the mist of the ruin’s, a lone hunter preyed upon the altered game that roamed. Knowledge that was passed down from generations would shape him into noble hunter. Adapting modern tools such as his power spear, combined with the teachings from his anchors, allow the Mi’kmaq hunter to strive in this rugged forest of steel skeletons with poisoned skies.


Teyowisonte Tommy Deer (Mohawk) Kahnawá:ke.

I thought about what the future of our community would be in terms of likelihood and in terms of how I hope it would age. The illustration is intended to be an aspiration portrayal of our future. The illustration shows the dominant colonial world growing around us, amidst the contrast of the foreground depicting a Haudenosaunee Longhouse, which is holding colonialism at bay. The Longhouse symbolizes our enduring culture and nationality and the smoke symbolizes that it continue to exist and live. The rows of purple wampum on top and on the bottom of the illustration reflects the Two Row Wampum, which represents the desired relationship of coexistence and non-interference between our peoples. The top row is falling apart, which symbolizes the colonial failure to respect this relationship.

Jacobs, Darian Future Imaginary 2 hi-res

Darian Jacobs (Mohawk). Soaring High.

 Sanderson, Steve Walrus Illustration

Steven Keewatin Sanderson (Plains Cree). Janes Smith Cree Nation. Picking up Where we Left Off.

I envisioned a post apocalyptic world where the plains people returned to our old ways and were once again masters of your own destinies.

Erb, Joseph. Turtle Our Teacher

Erb, Joseph. Turtle Our Teacher.

“The Turtle Translation App is about learning the old stories and ways with better communication. The idea is that future technology brings us back to who we are.”

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Skawennati. (Mohawk) Stepping Out.


Elizabeth LaPensee. Returning to Ourselves

“Returning to Ourselves” reflects our cyborg selves of the future in a spacetime when we activate interstellar travel by recognizing the depth of teachings from the past. Blood memory echoes as thought initiates form and the triangulation of breath ignites the connections of planetary traplines.