Mike Alexander is an emerging Anishinaabe visual artist and writer originally from Swan Lake First Nation in Treaty #1 Territory. Adopted out to a non-Indigenous family shortly after birth, Mike is a 60’s Scoop survivor, a second-generation Residential School survivor who grew up in Winnipeg, having no connection to his community, language or culture until his early 20’s.
He has attended the University of Victoria, the Victoria College of Art and the Vancouver Island School of Art. Mike is honoured to have received mentorship from master carver and recipient of the Order of BC Carey Newman (Kwagiulth) as well as master of the Woodlands School of Art, Mark Anthony Jacobson (Anishinaabe) who as a Pipe Carrier and Eagle Staff carrier, serves to transmit cultural knowledge as well as artistic skill to help guide him.
Mike has been the recipient of several generous grants from the Kamloops Arts Council, the First Peoples Cultural Council, the BC Arts Council as well as the Canada Council for the Arts and is currently practicing as a full time, internationally collected artist.
Since 2015, his large acrylic paintings have received five solo exhibitions in Vancouver, Victoria, and Kamloops as well as participation in several group shows across Canada and the United States.
He is currently an artist in residence at Skwachays Lodge in Vancouver. Mike identifies very strongly with his Ojibwe roots as a student of the Woodlands School of Art. He celebrates his ongoing transformation and reclamation of culture using his cultural birthright as a process of decolonization and cultural revitalization.