Aboriginal mural unveiled at Revelstoke Secondary School

A new mural created by Revelstoke elementary school students has been unveiled at Revelstoke Secondary School.

Nadia McLaren speaks about the Aboriginal mural that was unveiled at Revelstoke Secondary School last week.

A new mural created by Revelstoke elementary school students has been unveiled at Revelstoke Secondary School.

The large, 12-by-15 foot mural, was created as part of the school district’s Aboriginal Education program. It was spearheaded by instructor Nadia McLaren, who used her art background to teach aboriginal education.

“Coming from an art background, I had to figure out how I could jump into the program with something I was comfortable with, but also use as a tool and foundation for Aboriginal education,” she said. “This is what we came up with.”

The mural features a map of Canada overlayed with various First Nations symbols. It shows the traditional language territories pre-contact with Europeans.

There is a large Thunderbird, which is considered a very powerful entity in First Nations mythology. The Raven, who is featured in many stories, is included in the bottom right corner. The mural features seven feathers, representing the seven grandfathers who teach values of love, truth, courage, wisdom, humility, honour and respect.

The mural was divided into 10 panels. Four were created at Columbia Park Elementary, four at Begbie View Elementary, and two at Arrow Heights Elementary.

It was showcased alongside about 100 works of art created by elementary school students.

“All the students worked with symbols that were appropriate to them and they just went for it,” said McLaren. “What I love about the art work is how you can see the influence of the environment.”

The mural was unveiled on Thursday, June 18, three days before National Aboriginal Day. Lisa Moore, who runs the Aboriginal education program at the high school, said the day had special significance this year following the recent release of the Truth & Reconciliation Report. “We’re here to celebrate together. That seems to be a really good start to reconciliation,” said Moore.



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