Tara-Nuin Wilson

River That Beats Like a Drum

Name of the Paddle: River That Beats Like a Drum

Display Location: The Chocolate Rabbit

Artist Name: Star Daughter Woman

Medium: Acrylic and Woodburn 

Artist Bio: Nuin-Tara ᓄᐃᓐᑕᕋ, Turtle Island (Canadian) based Cree woman, residing in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough) on Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ land, is an artist of mixed descent embracing her indigenous cultures and creating visual Anishinaabe teachings through oil paintings. 

The Trent Severn is a great way for her to gain inspiration on indigenous waters close to home. The animals that are seen along her journeys kayaking are often found in her paintings. 


Paddle Description: A front and back art piece showing the Otonabee River in the background with a sunset and front of a kayak with a fishing pole. The sunset has small clouds that move your eye into an indigenous designed sun that is wood burned. The design up the handle shows Cree floral work on both front and back. The other side of the paddle shows 4 fish native to Lakefield waters. Muskie, Perch, Walleye and Bass. All four are designed in woodburn. 


The name for the paddle was chosen after the Otonabee which means River that beats like a Drum, a part of the Kawarthas meaning Shining Waters.


The art symbolizes hope. It is to bring more awareness to the teachings of our sacred beliefs and knowledge from our Ancestors. The process of this piece was visiting the Otonabee and seeing what it brought me. Calm waters and a setting sun while waiting for the fish to come. I started with a sketch before using acrylics and wood burning for added texture and detail against the light cedar wood.  This project means more indigenous voices are being heard and more indigenous art is out there for our youth to be inspired by. It’s important to know the land we walk on and this art project is a chance to show people how sacred our waters are and what it can bring you if you let it. 


Where to find more of the artist’s artwork: 

Instagram and TikTok 

Explore. Experience. Enjoy.

Kawarthas Northumberland logo