Saskatchewan Examiner

Thursday, December 7, 2023

A bus shelter featuring Indigenous art has been unveiled by Saskatoon Transit

Bus shelter with Indigenous art is unveiled by Saskatoon Transit.

Key Takeaways:

  • At a bus shelter on Confederation Drive, passengers can now see a brand-new piece of Indigenous art.
  • The artwork was produced by Indigenous artist Justine “Tini” Stilborn with the intention of illustrating the ambitions for the future of those who had survived residential schools.
  • The orange rear panel shows the disturbing history of residential schools and the discovery of unmarked graves.

Bus passengers can now view a fresh work of Indigenous art at a bus shelter on Confederation Drive.

In response to the Truth and also Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action, Saskatoon Transit launched a bus shelter on Wednesday morning that features Indigenous artwork.

The piece of art, created by Indigenous artist Justine “Tini” Stilborn, aims to depict the future aspirations of those who survived residential schools. Stilborn collaborated with the Saskatoon Survivors Circle to create visions for the shelter’s design.

“The artist caught our words and thoughts.” Everybody from the past and even the future has to be considered. Residential school victim Pauline Okemow stated, “We had to think about it and how that affects us, and also the bus shelter communicates that tale.

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Three panels on the bus shelter each tell a different narrative. The left-hand panel, which is red, focuses on the Sixties Scoop and the removal of young Indigenous children from their homes and families.

The unsettling history of residential schools and the uncovering of unmarked graves are depicted on the orange back panel. As Indigenous people revert to their cultural customs and establish ties with their ancestors, the right yellow panel was intended to “elicit a sense of liberation.”

“Now that I’m seeing it firsthand, it’s somewhat odd, but it’s also thrilling and unsettling. My palms are perspiring,” observed Stilborn.

According to Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand, who was present at the ceremony, the bus will be used as a community teaching tool.

Bus shelter with Indigenous art is unveiled by Saskatoon Transit.
Bus shelter with Indigenous art is unveiled by Saskatoon Transit. Image from iHeartRadio

“This public artwork is just the beginning, in my opinion. Arcand added that it should be taking place throughout our city and community in many locations to depict and promote awareness of what happened to Indigenous people.

The project’s acting director, Tracey Davis, says she’s honored to be a part of it and found the process humbling.

In Saskatchewan, “I have come from a generation that was not educated much about our Indigenous past,” Davis said.

In Caswell Hill, Adelaide-Churchill, and Broadway neighborhoods, Saskatoon Transit has three additional bus shelters that feature Indigenous art.

Source: CTV News

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