In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Daniels Faculty is excited to announce an upcoming mural for the north façade of the Daniels Building that will be created by an Indigenous artist.
“Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day – a day for all Canadians to celebrate the heritage and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. However, to truly celebrate Indigenous communities we must commit ourselves to Truth and Reconciliation,” said Interim Dean Robert Wright. “These are not just words but our obligation and direct calls to action. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples have shown us a path, and it is one that we must walk together.”
This inaugural Indigenous installation at the Daniels Building is intended to address Indigenous Spaces within the University’s response to the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC Steering Committee’s Report, Answering the Call. Wecheehetowin) specifically, Call to Action #2: A strategy for the funding and placement of more Indigenous public art across all three campuses should be developed, in close consultation with local Indigenous communities.
“It is important for our Daniels community to come together as one and expand our listening to the land and to all our relations,” said Elder Whabagoon, the First Peoples Leadership Advisor to the Dean. “As we walk this path together, we are gathering new voices to learn new ways of knowing. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and teachings with the Faculty and students.”
The collaborative process to create the mural is being organized by the Daniels Art Directive (DAD), a student-led art collective, with guidance from Elder Whabagoon, the First Peoples Leadership Advisor to the Dean, and supported by the Daniels Faculty’s Office of External Relations and Outreach. An advisory panel of Indigenous members will create the call-for-proposals and then select the artist.
Located at 1 Spadina Crescent, the site is part of the historic Ishpadinaa – one of two historic Indigenous trails in Toronto that were recently recognized with Anishinaabemowin signs. Ishpadinaa is an Ojibwe word that means “a place on a hill.”
This project follows the first installation of a mural on the Daniels Building: the ‘Support Black Designers.’ mural curated by DAD, in collaboration with designers and Daniels alumnae Ashita Parekh and Tolu Alabi, was on view from October 2020 to May 2021.
"The north façade is a window into the Daniels Faculty. As students at this school, we are honoured to support all artists and the messages they want to share," said Michelle Ng on behalf of DAD. "Through community-driven art, we hope to decolonize spaces and create opportunities that will lead to concrete changes for an intersectional, inclusive future."
The call-for-proposals will be announced at the end of June and an information session is scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 1-2 pm. Mural installation is slated to begin late August – early September 2021.
Indigenous Mural Project logo design by Mariah Meawasige (Makoose).