For generations, First Nations people met on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River in what is now Edmonton. Now, a piece of of the very same bank will host stunning pieces of indigenous art in a new park.
Six pieces of the permanent outdoor exhibit were unveiled at Edmonton City Hall on Tuesday.
The art park, located on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River in Queen Elizabeth Park, is set to open to the public in fall 2018. It will be the city's first-ever Indigenous Art Park.
Take a look at the six pieces of art chosen for the project. Article continues below.
The Indigenous Art Park is located in Edmonton's Queen Elizabeth Park on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. It opens in 2018. “The profound legacy left by our Kôhkominawak (our Grandmothers) and Kimosôminawak (our Grandfathers) is one of the sacred areas used to cross Kisiskâcêwansîpî (Saskatchewan River), where many ceremonies and rituals took place before crossing this majestic sanctuary," said Elder Jerry Saddleback in a release.
Iskotew by Amy Malbeuf
Mikikwan by Duane Linklater
Turtle by Jerry Whitehead
preparing to cross the river by Marianne Nicholson
Reign by MaryAnn Barkhouse
Pehonan by Tiffany Shaw-Collinge
Six artworks symbolizing Edmonton’s rich Indigenous history were unveiled on April 12, 2016. The artists created their artwork proposals following an in-depth workshop with Elders, Indigenous knowledge holders, Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, the Métis Nation of Alberta and other Indigenous residents in Edmonton in 2015.
“Public art is very much about place-making,” said Katherine Kerr, Public Art Director for the Edmonton Arts Council, in a news release.
“We want the Indigenous Art Park to not only showcase a diversity of exciting art and serve as a community gathering place, but also to ensure the works within are relevant and meaningful to the landscape and to Edmonton.”
Edmonton is home to the second-largest urban indigenous community in Canada.
— City of Edmonton (@CityofEdmonton) April 12, 2016
Some of the installations will include an amphitheatre — to inspire storytelling and gathering — and a giant reproduction of a buffalo bone.
Artists for the project were selected after consultations with Indigenous Elders, Indigenous knowledge holders, Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, the Métis Nation of Alberta and other Indigenous residents last year.