Born in 1941 and raised in Sydney, Cape Breton, artist Mike MacDonald is of Mi'qmak, Beothuk, and Scottish descent. MacDonald now claims Vancouver as his home. Video is MacDonald's main artistic medium. He is known as a video installation artist, and he uses technology to educate and heal. MacDonald's First Nations heritage is central to his work, including Electronic Totem.
MacDonald created Electronic Totem in 1987. This work was MacDonald's first major appearance in the contemporary art world. The video installation is made up of five videos, each about 19 minutes long.