Town of Canmore

Indigenous Mural Project

The Mural

In early 2022, we opened a call for Indigenous artists to submit their ideas for a new mural to grace the west-facing wall of 907 7 Ave. Once completed in early September 2022, this piece will be the first addition to our public art collection created by Indigenous artists. The winning submission came from artists, Kayla Bellerose (bb iskwew) and Cheyenne Bearspaw (Chey Ozinja-Thiha). 

The mural is inspired by the Three Sisters mountains in the Canmore area, and it highlights the resilience and power of Indigenous women from the Treaty 7 area, specifically from the Stoney Nakoda Nations neighbouring Canmore. The colour palette of bright blues, pinks, reds, oranges, and purples is inspired by contemporary issues the artists face as Indigenous women, such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the findings of the residential school children in mass unmarked graves. As balance to the pain of colonization, the artists celebrate that they are still here by using blue, purple, and pink, which offer colours of prints in ceremony to the sky woman and the grandmothers. The artists note that they “would not be here if it was not for the mothers, sisters, aunties, and grandmas before us.”

The Timeline

Mural Installation – Sept. 6 – 15

Community Celebration – Sept. 16, from 5 – 7 p.m. at the mural site (the west-facing wall of 907 7 Ave.)

The Celebration

Save the Date!

 The artists are excited to talk to community members during the installation of the mural, and so we encourage people to stop by throughout the duration of the installation. We also welcome you to join us to celebrate the installation and the artists once the piece is completed on Sept. 16, from 5-7 p.m. at the mural site. 

The Artists

Kayla Bellerose (bb iskwew) is a sakâw nehiyaw iskwew and Métis multi-disciplinary artist from Slave Lake in Treaty 8 territory. The stylistic linework of plant life throughout bb iskwew’s work is rooted in learning native plant knowledge and is influenced by her family’s beadwork designs and stories. Through the mediums of muralism, beadwork, illustration, and photography, bb iskwew hopes to share visual medicine with the world and contribute to a collective healing and restorative future.

Cheyenne Bearspaw (Chey Ozinja-Thiha) is a self-taught artist from the Bearspaw First Nation, Stoney Nakoda. Their home is forever with the Mountain People in Mini Thni (Morley, Treaty 7 territory). Chey paints traditional Sioux designs that feature geometrical shapes and vibrant colours that are heavily inspired by the powwow dancers in their community. Chey also enjoys creating tattoo-inspired art and hopes to indigenize and merge tattoo and art communities. Chey hopes to pave the road so that youth in their Nakoda community can achieve their goals in the same ways that she has been able to achieve their own. 

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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