Local Artist Creates Indigenous Reconciliation Artwork for Council Chamber

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Artist Fred McDonald of Fort McKay First Nation // photo courtesy of RMWB

RMWB council chambers get a makeover thanks to a local artist

Frederick R. McDonald of Fort McKay First Nation was the lead artist for the Indigenous Reconciliation Artwork Project.

Dating back to a council motion in 2019, the project represents the municipality’s ongoing commitment to truth and reconciliation and recognizes Indigenous peoples as the first stewards of the land.

“I hope this will serve as a constant reminder that through art we can come together in reconciliation and foster understanding,” said Mayor Sandy Bowman.

“We can – and will continue – to recognize the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples and their eternal contributions to this region. My deepest gratitude goes to everyone who has played a role in achieving this goal. »

Indigenous Reconciliation Arts Council Chambers

Artist Fred McDonald of the Fort McKay First Nation project in the RMWB council chamber // photo courtesy of the RMWB

McDonald was joined by Elders and Knowledge Keepers, many of whom are residential and day school survivors, who shared their hard truths in developing the design concept.

The artwork represents their shared history, traditions, love for nature and includes a nod to the contemporary influence of a hopeful future generation.

A talking stick was presented alongside the Indigenous reconciliation artwork during a special ceremony held on April 25 in the council chambers.

The Talking Stick was created by elder Shirley Arthurs and honors the sharing circle process used to reach consensus on artist selection and design concepts.

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