Sunday, July 21, 2024

New community-built mural representing continuing reconciliation revealed in Duncan

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A new and vibrant mural was unveiled in Duncan this past weekend, representing some steps towards reconciliation. 

In the release, Cowichan Intercultural Society (CIS) said the initial planning and execution of the mural formed within a committee of community partners, including CIS, Quw’utsun Elders, the City of Duncan, Cowichan Tribes, and more.

The vision for this creation came from the imaginative mind of Charlene Johnny of Coast Salish Art in collaboration with the Nanum ‘Iyus Tth’ele committee — together creating a powerful blend of symbolism and colour.

“This is a major step for reconciliation, building meaningful connections in the community and a better understanding of each other,” stated Councilor Albie Charlie of Cowichan Tribes Council in the release.

The mural is located on 221 Jubilee Street in downtown Duncan, and Jim Painter, the owner of the building, was also excited to play a part in the creation of this marvelous project. 

The process took nearly a month to complete and had help from Malinski Painting — who primed this extensive canvas, and Cloverdale painting for donating a generous amount of painting supplies.

It is said the ‘thu-itsthuw tun shqwaluwun’ (be truthful with your feelings) project is Johnny’s 17th mural — her work reflecting the training and education she has gained through her years of experience. 

“The designs that are depicted in this mural are a reflection of snuw’uy’ulh (teachings) from our siem s-ul’hween (respected elders),” Johnny said in a recent post.

“The tears of the sun and the orange footprints represent the grief and sense of loss that we feel for the children who did not make it home from residential schools. We always have our ancestors with us, we are never walking alone. We want to honour the past, the present, and the future.”

A celebration was held in front of the mural and consisted of Tzinquaw dancers and community members coming together to admire the finished product. 

Go and see this exciting installation for yourself in downtown Duncan!

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