A Question of Leadership

Portrait of Lorraine Whitman

May 11, 2020

In her artwork, Pickering examines questions of leadership during the COVID-19 global pandemic. “Question of Leadership“, focuses on community leaders, such as Lorraine Whitman, who speak truth to power. Because the people who deserve public attention are those leading us through this crisis with humility, sacrifice and collaboration.

An Indigenous Approach to Health

Lorraine presents an Indigenous understanding of health during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In the Indigenous culture we consider health more than physical. We consider our mental, our emotional and our spiritual just as important to the overall well-being of oneself.” In her video message she explains that our health is intrinsically tied to our culture.

About Lorraine Whitman

Lorraine, “Grandmother White Sea Turtle”, is from the Glooscap First Nation in Nova Scotia. She is the daughter of the late Chief Joseph Peters and Doris (Brooks) Peters and granddaughter of the late Chief Louis Peters of Bear River (1).

Lorraine’s career includes 23 years as social development officer for the Glooscap First Nation. In Glooscap she served as elected councillor from 1997–2012. Her experience includes fifteen years on the Board of Directors of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq. She also served as health committee member for the Tripartite Forum for ten years. In 2017 she was elected president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association. Recently, in September 2019, she was elected president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC). NWAC is “founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women” (1).

First Nations Health Authority (4)


  1. https://www.nwac.ca/ (11/05/20)
  2. https://youtu.be/ysJUecxTSO4 (11/05/20)
  3. https://www.nwac.ca/presidents-corner/ (11/05/20)
  4. https://www.fnha.ca/wellness/wellness-and-the-first-nations-health-authority/first-nations-perspective-on-wellness (11/05/20)

About the Artist Jennifer Pickering

Jennifer Pickering is a contemporary artist from Canada, born in Switzerland and currently based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She teaches Visual Art at Advanced Learning Schools, an International Baccalaureate School. Much of her practice is based in site-specific interventions into public space. Her work explores complex systems of information exchange. Issues of access and denial, of privilege, class and where the power lies are central to her work.

For more artwork by Pickering in this series “A Question of Leadership” visit: http://jen-pickering.com/blog/