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Dale Auger

Defining Dale Auger in one sentence is akin to releasing the colours of a diamond in one cut. It can't be done. It's the many facets that release a diamond's true brilliance, as it is the many facets of Auger's life, education, ancestry, experiences and beliefs that have shaped and polished his work into the internationally acclaimed and collected artist that he is today.

Born a Sakaw Cree from the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta, Auger's education began as a young boy when his mother would take him to be with the elders. "I used to say to myself, "˜Why is she leaving me with these old people?" but today I see the reason; I was being taught in the old way."

Auger's respect for traditional teachings led him on a journey to study art, opening the door to a doctorate in education. He is a talented playwright, speaker and visual artist whose vividly coloured acrylics have captured the attention of collectors that reads like an international who's who, spanning English to Hollywood royalty. The essence of his work is communication, and now Dr. Auger has come full circle, interpreting the life of his culture. from the everyday to the sacred - through the cross-cultural medium of art.

"The art itself has always been the backbone. That's what got me into university, that's what set me on the road," confirmed Auger, speaking from his cozy studio in Bragg Creek.

His artwork is bigger than life and creates a commanding presence, seemingly galvanized with a restrained power. However, it's also deceptively simple; and therein lays the core of the artist.

"The simplicity is really a big part of my art," affirms Auger. "˜Because these worlds we live in, what we might know as the Indian world versus the White world; sometimes it has created such a complex place for itself that the basic human need to communicate cannot be there. Sometimes we don't communicate because we're so far apart."

His art draws people in, but it's the kindness and humour reflected in Auger's eyes that encourages people to stay. He slips into a conversation with a diplomat as easily as he does with a child. The comfort level he has achieved in his spiritual walk, along with his education, incredible talent and a broad sense of humour, all wrapped up in a PhD - makes for a potent combination and a surprisingly modest man.

"I'm really open to all forms of knowledge, art and art expression. In representing the First Nations people, a good part of my art comes from there, and I know its knowledge I have been born with." His tone becomes thoughtful. "It may appear to be easy for me, but it's still a responsibility to carry."

Medicine Paint: The Art of Dale Auger
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

One of Canada's most evocative modern painters, Cree artist Dale Auger was a gifted interpreter of First Nations culture, using the cross-cultural medium of art to portray scenes from the everyday to the sacred and dissemble stereotypes about Indigenous peoples. Medicine Paint is a collection of Auger's best work, reproduced in glorious full colour and reflecting the evolution of the artist's distinctive style. Including a revealing look back at his life and professional development, the book is a stunning tribute to the master Aboriginal artist.

Auger uses bold, bright colours in his oil paintings to explore the intricate links between spirituality and the natural laws of the land. Birds, beasts and human forms are carried from the dreamworld onto canvas, their spirits channeled through his paintbrush and presented in brilliant yellows, mystic blues, vibrant reds and swirls of black. Infusing his subjects with energy, life and colour, Dale Auger masterfully presents scenes that are powerful, spiritual and inspiring. A bald eagle is majestic in flight against a bright blue sky. An elder makes a solemn offering to the Sky Being. Horses dance playfully in the frame for a sweat lodge. A warrior draws his bow and points it skyward.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

Mwakwa Talks to the Loon: A Cree Story for Children
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4;

Kayâs is a young Cree man who is blessed with a Gift that makes him a talented hunter. He knows the ways of the Beings he hunts and can even talk with them in their own languages. But when he becomes proud and takes his abilities for granted, he loses his gift, and the People grow hungry.

With the help of the Elders and the Beings that inhabit the water, Kayâs learns that in order to live a life of success, fulfillment and peace, he must cherish and respect the talents and skills he has been given.

Illustrated with Dale Auger's powerful, insightful paintings, Mwâkwa Talks to the Loon introduces readers to the basics of life in a Cree village. A glossary with a pronunciation guide to the many Cree words and phrases used in the story is included.


  • Winner of the Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award, 2006 Anskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival and Book Awards

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 6-9.

Additional Information
32 pages | 10.00" x 9.25" 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork