Sarain Stump | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Sarain Stump

Sarain Stump, Indigenous name Sock-a-jaw-wu, meaning "the one who pulls the boat," painter, poet (b at Fremont, Wyo 1945; d by drowning near Mexico City, Mexico 20 Dec 1974).

He had little formal education and was encouraged to learn from his Shoshone-Cree elders. Moving to an Alberta ranch in 1964, he began the poems and drawings for There Is My People Sleeping (1969). Stump promoted traditional Indigenous values and sought to help young Indigenous people gain pride in their heritage while coping with the modern world. He was the Indigenous art program coordinator at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College 1972-74. As a painter he was influenced by the traditional art of the Plains Indigenous people; as well he was interested in searching for what he called his Aztecan roots, since the Shoshone tribe is related by language to the Uto-Aztecan family. His paintings dealt with social-realist themes of Indigenous religion and history and their modern urban struggles.