Adele Maskwa-iskwew Arseneau

Tribal Name: Maskwa-iskwew| Region: Vancouver Coast & Mountains

North Vancouver
Band Affiliation:
One Arrow Band
Tribal Affiliation:
Northern Saskatchewan Cree

Link Code

Cut and paste the following code onto your blog or social media sites to link to this page.

Artist Statement

My art is my story. After surviving an illness that took four years of my life, I decided to change my story. No longer was I the person who did what others wanted because it was best for me. Now I get to be the artist I’ve always been and express myself by placing my mark on whatever material calls to me – whether it is animal hide, canvas, wood or my favourite – glass. My designs show me at certain points in time. Salmon for the ending and new beginning, raven for my creative spark, wolf for my loving family around me, bear for how I feel towards those within my circle. It’s all a story, even if it doesn’t follow traditional ways – sometimes stories need to be told in new and contemporary ways. I finally found my voice, I hope you enjoy the story.


Tanisi! Born in Prince George, BC of Saskatchewan Cree heritage, Adele has spent most of her life learning who she really is. Painting was always her preferred expression of her experiences.

Drawing and painting from the age of two, she defined her world first in pencil and finally in colour with acrylics and watercolours as she learned and grew. Many years were spent within the Carrier/Sekani culture of North Western BC and now it is reflected in her images. Utilizing the West Coast standard forms of ovoids, U and S shapes, she tries to integrate it with what comes natural to her, the soft flowing lines and suggestion of forms from her Woodland Cree style.

She obtained an art diploma in 1995, a graphic design diploma in 1998 and has continued learning and refining her techniques with local workshops and classes. Along the way, she has had the privilege of portfolio critiques by Canadian artists such as Ken Ferris and Robert Sebastian. She is currently being mentored by First Nation’s artist, Xwalacktun (Rick Harry) of Squamish Nation. She plans to become a leading contemporary First Nations artist, and he is helping her to focus her style (along with a little carving training). She currently volunteers with the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art, and is an active member of the North Shore Artist’s guild.

For her, its a constant journey of learning, evolving, and becoming something more. Using her dual native backgrounds, she tries capturing the world around her and turned it into the images you see on canvas, paper, glass and animal hide.

“Its all about the stories. We are our stories we hear and tell each other, this is our world. I’m just trying to tell them in a bright, colourful and contemporary way.” I hope you enjoy the stories.

Kininaskometin (thank you),

Work Samples

Types of Work I Do

Carvings|Paintings|Drums and Accessories|Glass
My Toolkit

more ARC friends on Facebook »