University LRT station mural to recognize the stories of the land

Carla Taylor and AJA Louden are the project’s lead artists, mentoring two other artists, Matthew and Dana, throughout the creation of the University Station mural. After community consultation, one strong takeaway was a request to tell the stories of the land and animals that were here before us. We were inspired by this, and right away connected with Dwayne Donald to take a River Valley tour where he shared some Cree and Blackfoot stories and knowledge about the history of the Edmonton River Valley area around the University of Alberta.

Dwayne's tour sparked ideas about the mural, and how the animals and the natural landscape could be represented in an interconnected way. Our concept is to represent animals who used to live here in more abundance before Edmonton grew so big. After further consultation, we decided to include the black bear, sturgeon, woodpecker, beaver, wolf, and the buffalo; all of them will be connected by the river as a source of life.

In addition, we will also include syllabics that will show the Cree names for these animals.

It’s time to honour the land and animals that were here before us! Let’s Paint the Rails with those stories.

Neximar Alarcon