In this article, I examine a first meeting with Ojibwe artist, Terry Kemper, during which I failed to initiate our meeting with the gift of tobacco. I explore failure in a relational event with Kemper and discuss the intentions of my ethnographic research, my researcher-identity, and my mistake of initially neglecting Ojibwe protocol during my first meeting with the artist, in addition to the role of tobacco in Ojibwe communities. Through aesthetic inquiry I reframe failure in an installation entitled, "Toward Reconciliation” that has potential pedagogical implications, with hope that it avoids a static and impotent result. I intend the article and installation as a public engagement of my continued apology and hope for continued conversation with Kemper to reflect and revisit ongoing ethically and culturally appropriate relationships.


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