The Sentinel is the largest, most elaborately costumed character in the procession. Each teaching is dramatized by one of these large-scale totemic figures. Artist and member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Cathie Jamieson plays the Sentinel Truth. Truth encompasses all the teachings and is based on the “firewheel” flower, which grows throughout the Americas. This flower is a survivor and a warrior; through even the harshest conditions, this flower endures and never changes: it is a constant – delicate yet fierce. This flower also forms the pattern of the dramatic series of circles, five in total: one in yellow (7ft diameter), red (6ft diameter), white (5ft diameter) and black (4ft diameter) to represent the medicine wheel. The fifth is comprised of two shawls that—with arms lifted—create one large 8ft diameter circle that encircles and encompasses the entire cosmos. Truth is the future.
Here are a selection of Marlon Griffith’s initial sketches, artistic renderings, technical drawings, and images of the process of making Truth. These images comprise a process extending almost two years. While the forms are intended to give shape and spirit to each of the teachings, each are also closely tied to the individual who plays each Sentinel and are custom designed to fit that person. In fact Cathie Jamieson’s form, made of thermoplast, was fit around her body to make a “backpack” that holds the circular forms that extend out from her costume. She wears white pants and a red top embellished with gold beads, sequins, and rhinestones. While all of the processional players in each teaching are individuals, each is connected through name, myth, symbol, or pattern.