Manuel Axel Strain is an interdisciplinary artist of Coast Salish, Secwepemc, and Okanagan descent. Manuel was raised in the suburban neighbourhood of Maple Ridge with little knowledge of what it meant to be a First Nations person. This upbringing lead Manuel to examine the construction of First Nations identities – in particular the internal conflicts that arise from imposed identity constructs. He works with painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and video installations. His practice confronts the legacies of colonization that have been left upon the identities of the First Nations people of Canada. Manuel is mainly concerned with post-colonial notions of hybridity, assimilation, cultural appropriation, self determination and resistance. Through the appropriation of euro-centric art he simultaneously accepts these legacies and rejects them. His purpose is to redefine his indigeneity and break the cycle of inaccurate generalizations. He intends to move beyond the binary opposition of the colonizer and the colonized to establish new ontologies for the First Nations identity.