Manuel Axel Strain is a 2-spirit interdisciplinary artist with Musqueam/Secwepemc/Syilx heritage based in the unceded territory of the Katzie/Kwantlen peoples. They use their lived experience to inspire social and political change in the colonial state of Canada. This leads them to examine the construction of First Nations identities — in particular the internal conflicts that arise from imposed identity constructs and the legacies of colonization. They work with painting, photography, sculpture, performance, and installation. Strain’s work is mainly concerned with assimilation, religion, spirituality, intergenerational trauma, and healing. Their goal is to move beyond the binary opposition of the colonizer and the colonized to establish new ontologies for First Nations identities.