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TRC Calls to Action Inspire Bus Shelter Art - June 2022

To coincide with Indigenous History Month and Indigenous Peoples Day, Saskatoon Transit has been unveiling a bus shelter displaying Indigenous artwork each June. These shelters reaffirm Saskatoon Transit’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #79.  

The fourth shelter (see photo below) was unveiled on June 22, 2022 at 885 Confederation Drive:

bus shelter art

This latest installment of bus shelter artwork is the result of a collaboration between the Saskatoon Survivors Circle and Indigenous artist, Justine "Tini" Stilborn. Stilborn worked to capture the reflections of the Survivors using visual art. She sought to tell the story of their past including the atrocities of residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, and those resulting from the child welfare and foster care system. But the artwork is also intended to capture the Survivors’ hopes for the future.  

Stilborn created her designs using Procreate and Adobe Illustrator which were then cut out of metal sheets by Metal Shapes Manufacturing. 

The Story

  • The artwork’s storytelling begins with the Sixties Scoop depicting young Indigenous children being taken from their homes and families. This panel was done in red to convey the stereotype of the red skin of Indigenous people and the bloodshed and pain experienced.  
  • The back panels illustrate Indigenous children’s involuntary assimilation to euro-western culture shown by the cutting of their hair. These panels also show Indigenous children being removed from their homes in more contemporary times, bridged by shoes that represent the unmarked graves of residential school children. The hands at the top reflect the broken connection between Indigenous generations and the yearning to reconnect. These panels were done in orange to align with orange shirt day and the EveryChildMatters movement.  
  • The final panel is designed to elicit a sense of freedom as Indigenous people return to their cultural practices and reconnect with their ancestors. This panel is yellow to represent hope and joy.  
  • For the first time, art was also added to the ceiling of the bus shelter. This part of the piece depicts children's faces in the clouds. The artist says this represents "the dawn of a new day where Indigenous persons can celebrate their babies again without the fear of having them taken".

The other 3 Saskatoon Transit bus shelters displaying Indigenous artwork are at the following locations: 

June 2021 - E.D. Feehan on the north side of Rusholme Road, west of Avenue M

Saskatoon Transit and students from the E.D. Feehan Newcomer Youth Engagement Program (NYEP) and the miyo mâcihowin program met with Métis Elder Nora Cummings, First Nations Elder Harry Lafond, and Newcomer Community Leader, Senos Timon to create and design a bus shelter on the north side of Rusholme Road, west of Avenue M by their school.  

Saskatoon Transit wanted to work on Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action, #93. This Call to Action calls to revise the information kit for newcomers to Canada to reflect a more inclusive history of the diverse Aboriginal people of Canada.  

The students from the NYEP and miyo mâcihowin program reflected on Elder Cummings and Lafond’s teachings with inspiration from Newcomer Community Leader Senos Timon to create this piece of art. One of the themes that continued to pop up was the idea that we are all different and should be proud of that, and remember who we are and reach out to one another.  

The student’s artwork was put together by Muveddet Al-Katib, an immigrant artist working with the NYEP as an art educator. Then laser cut by Metal Shapes Manufacturing. 

June 2019 - 12th Street and Broadway Avenue

Saskatoon Transit and students from Nutana Collegiate worked together with Elder Harry Lafond to create the design of a new bus shelter at 12th Street and Broadway Avenue.  

Transit engaged 10 students from the Nutana Industry and Career Education program. The students reflected on Elder Lafond’s teachings and the following words emerged to represent their story: 

  • Life 
  • Beauty
  • Love 
  • Growth 
  • Connection 
  • Sacrifice 
  • Healing 
  • Regeneration 
  • Plants 
  • Community 

The students produced designs that were inspired by Elder Harry Lafond’s traditional teachings of Indigenous history and values. They were then laser cut by Metal Shapes Manufacturing.  

June 2018 - ​​​​​In front of Aden Bowman Collegiate (1904 Clarence Ave S)

As part of the City’s commitment to Reconciliation, a Saskatoon Transit bus shelter was designed in collaboration with students from Aden Bowman Collegiate and Saskatoon Metis Elder, Senator Nora Cummings.

Transit was responding to TRC Call to Action #79, calling upon the government, Aboriginal organizations and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration, including integrating Indigenous history, heritage values and memory practices into Canada’s history.

The artwork was inspired by Métis history, heritage, values and the memories of Senator Elder Nora Cummings. Elder Cummings spoke specifically to the landscape and the people of the area where Aden Bowman is situated and shared pictures of what the area looked like when she was a young girl.

The students were asked to create original, timeless and commemorative art that celebrates the Métis heritage, history, values and memories of Elder Cummings. They created the art for the bus shelter using inspiration from their session with Elder Cummings, keeping in mind the functionality and design of the shelter. 

The design was then laser cut by Metal Shapes Manufacturing.

 


 

Water Treatment Training Program for Indigenous People

The City of Saskatoon, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Radius Community Centre, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and Saskatoon Tribal Council coordinate the kanātan nipīy (the water is clean/clean water) program. The training is an opportunity for Indigenous people to gain essential skills and access employment opportunities in water treatment and distribution facilities — such as with the City's Water and Waste Operations. But there are also opportunities to apply this program with: other municipalities, industrial plants, provincial or federal government agencies, First Nations communities, engineering firms, parks, mining or oil & gas industry, contractors, private utility companies, and more.

This program includes free tuition and living allowances for qualified applicants.

The next session will be offered beginning January 10, 2022. The application deadline for this intake is December 10, 2021. Spaces are limited!

The 11-week program includes: essential skills training, Level 1 Water Collection & Treatment Training, Level 1 Wastewater Collection & Distribution Training, First Aid/CPR and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (Canada's national standard for workplace safety) and Service Best, and work experience.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must be Indigenous 
  • Grade 12 or GED
  • Class 5 Saskatchewan Driver’s Licence
  • Driver Abstract (within the last 3 months)
  • Resumé (includes 3 references)

How to Apply:

Water Training Program - Poster

Water Training Program - News Release

 


 

First Michif Street Name in Saskatoon - April 2021

The City’s Naming Committee has selected what is thought to be the first Michif street name in Saskatoon. The name “Shakamohtaa” (shaa-KAM’-moh-TAHH’) was assigned to a street in the southeast quadrant of Brighton. “Shakamohtaa” is the Michif word for “connect” and symbolizes the importance of coming together and building relationships. 

The Métis in Saskatchewan speak three Michif languages. The most widely known Michif is a Cree-French mixed language composed of Plains Cree (nêhiyawêwin) with some Plains Ojibway (nakawēmowin) verbs/verb phrases and French (with some English) nouns/noun phrases. A world-renowned language, Michif is spoken in all three prairie provinces and into Montana and North Dakota. Michif-French—which is a French-based language blended with an Algonquian syntax—is spoken by the Métis in Batoche/St. Louis, Saskatchewan and in St. Laurent and St. Eustache, Manitoba. Northern Michif—a Cree-based language with a small amount of French word (noun) borrowings—is spoken in the northwest corner of Saskatchewan, with most speakers living in or near Ile-à-la Crosse, Buffalo Narrows, Beauval, and Green Lake. (SOURCE: Gabriel Dumont Institute, Saskatoon) 

The Civic Naming Committee is comprised of three members of Council and non-voting administrators who provide support and information. The Committee’s mandate is to review all requests and suggestions for naming municipally-owned or controlled facilities, streets, developments, neighbourhoods and parks. The Naming Committee works with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee to ensure there is representation from all segments of our population.  

Since street names are selected during the neighbourhood planning stage, the physical street does not yet exist anywhere other than on planning maps. It’s expected that the road will be in place along with its accompanying street sign in about two years’ time. Please see the below map to see where Shakamohtaa Street will be located. 

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