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amiskwaciy Academy paints Downtown Division with kindness

05-Apr-2017

amiskwaciy Academy has had a long-standing relationship with Downtown Division. EPS members wanted to find a creative way to honour and recognize their friendship.

After some recent renovations, the division had the perfect blank canvas and wanted to add colour to the walls and remind members about the vibrant city they protect.

Officers approached amiskwaciy Academy to create a mural that would reflect the positive relationship between the EPS and indigenous students. The goal of the mural was to reflect trust and understanding that the EPS has with the school and its students.

Elder Francis Whiskeyjack and amiskwaciy Academy Principal Fred Hines gathered some of their art students to design and paint the mural.

“The imagery clearly outlines the relationship we strive to have between our officers and indigenous youth,” says Superintendent Ed McIssac of Downtown Division.

The mural features strong indigenous cultural symbolism as well as policing and urban themes. Understanding the components of the painting provides a better understanding of its meaning.

Youth and Police officer: The two figures incorporated in the painting represent the partnership between the EPS and amiskwaciy Academy as well as the ongoing commitment from the EPS to work with the indigenous community in Edmonton.

Sun: The sun symbolizes that light that will always shine if the EPS and indigenous community continue to work together. 

Sunrise: The sunrise represents a fresh start and a positive relationship. It brings warmth to those who see it.

Feathers: It is a high honour to hold an eagle feather. The two figures holding eagle feathers in the air represents the great deeds to come and symbolizes there is strength in walking together.

Medicine Wheel: The Medicine Wheel represents harmony and joining together. There is no hierarchy in the medicine wheel as everything joins evenly. When we close the wheel, we make the world complete. The colours in the wheel represent the elements of our world and the different cultures that make up our city.

Cityscape: The Cityscape embedded into the medicine wheel highlights the place that Edmonton and the EPS has within Treaty 6 territory.