Micheal Langan is an Anishinaabe/Cree artist from Cote First Nation and Peepeekisis First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory, who is committed to educating people through creative renderings of our colonial past. After moving to Regina almost 20 years ago, Micheal immersed himself in the local skateboard community, of which he has remained a prominent member ever since. In 2015, Micheal launched his own skateboard company – Colonialism Skateboards – to draw attention to, and have people engage with, complex and untelling aspects of Indigenous Canadian history and culture. By combining skateboard art with a history lesson on Indigenous culture and colonialism in Canada, Micheal’s innovative approach is leading a conversation about how Canadians, especially youth, can move forward together through truth and reconciliation.
Profoundly influenced by his upbringing and experiences as an inter-generational residential school survivor, Micheal’s initiative has grown and expanded beyond the realm of skateboarding. He has been invited to elementary, high school and university classrooms throughout the country, as well as various community panels, to speak about his company and its mandate.
Colonialism Skateboards continues to receive international attention as Micheal inspires skateboarders and non-skateboarders alike to learn about the history and enduring legacy of colonization, and to think about ways to address these ongoing challenges locally and globally.
Photo: Noel Wendt