Joe Fafard: oskana kâ-asastêki 

Joe Fafard “Oskana” 1995. Bronze,
25 x 51 x 29 cm (sold at auction)

I’m sad to learn of the passing of Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard. My all-time favourite piece of his is called “Oskana” – the Cree word for “bones”. The name is a clever pun on the old Cree name for Regina: oskana kâ-asastêki, literally meaning,”Where the bones are piled,” but usually rendered in English as “Pile of Bones.” This little bronze sculpture of a bison at rest is made up of thousands of little pieces, shaped like bones, and it makes me smile as it slyly honours Regina’s Cree roots.

Read more about Joe Fafard here:

Find oskana kâ-asastêki and other Cree place names on this Google map:


About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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