The Healing Path

Submitted by Charlie Johnston

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Client: Selkirk Friendship Centre & Manitoba Metis Federation

Location: Selkirk, MB, Canada

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $40,000

Project Team

Artist

Charlie Johnston

C5 Artworks

Other

Jeannie Red Eagle

Industry Resource

Interlake art Board

Client

Manitoba Meti Centre

Artist

Ashley Christianson

Artist

Ryan Gauthier

Artist

Chad Reeves

Overview

The Healing Path panel mural; 16′ x 100′ acrylic on ACP panels; installed on the upper façades of the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Selkirk Friendship Centre Outreach Site; painted signage integrated into the design

Goals

This is a reconciliation project, bringing together Aboriginal, Metis and non aboriginal cultures together on the same path; a path towards healing both ourselves and our society. The infinity sign on the Metis flag represents two races coming together to form one distinct society. In this design, 5 infinity signs merge together to create the healing path of multiculturalism with the guidance of traditional indigenous medicines and techniques. Beadwork becomes the building blocks of the path and the gardens depict Metis and Aboriginal motifs. The four medicines radiate from the centre while the animal totems of the 7 Sacred Teachings walk as guides along the path, each carrying their wisdoms for us to learn.

Process

As a reconciliation project, I worked with an Indigenous knowledge keeper and mentored a group of aboriginal and Metis artist in the process of mural making. They were involved from design to inception for a totally immersive creative experience. I worked with both organizations and a number of local community interest groups to put the entire project together.

Additional Information

This mural is an expression of Traditional indigenous culture for the current social milieu of Canada. In these times of Truth and Reconciliation, acknowledgement of the misdeeds of the past and making amends for them needs to come from the perspective of healing, sharing and walking the path together.