GARDEN SHED | EARTH | WISAKEDJAK LODGE
Kingsmere Lake, Saskatchewan,
Canada | 1948
In the forested heart of the Canadian wilderness stands Wisakedjak Lodge (Cree; Wesakechak; Whiskey-Jack; benevolent trickster hero in folk tales), a red and white log cabin constructed of cedars, weathered boards and shingle. Here in the late winter of 1948, we find all the rough comforts of this hideaway, its worn chairs, folk art painted funriture and woodstove; a place for quiet contemplation. With few trails and wild woodland in every direction, the only sensible way to approach the cabin is by canoe, across the great lake of Kingsmere.
The prairie province of Saskatchewan was first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774, having also been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups. Originally Sakawininiwug (Cree; Woodland Cree) grounds, these hunters and horsemen settled here.
As more Western settlers came to the prairies on the railway, the population grew and one of these was the Englishman who married a local Cree woman and came known as He Who Walks By Night (Cree; tipiskisiw). His move to this region in 1932 introduced him to real winter, the severity of which the dramatic figure dressed in buckskins and leather was ill prepared for.