Robert Houle's visual arts practice applies formalist demands to activist initiatives to review the history of the interactions of the North American Indian and the colonizers. The eight large vertical canvases that make up Palisade represent the eight forts captured by Pontiac's Confederacy in 1763. Through the addition of digital graphic collages and historical documentation, Houle powerfully relates the colonial army's retaliation to these defeats: the systematic introduction of plagues, especially smallpox. Dyck's essay provides an interpretation of the work and its historical context. Robert Houle has exhibited widely, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and The Art Gallery of Ontario.