Indigenous History Mural Being Created in Lincoln Park

The mural, located on the Seafarers Center on the corner of 21st Ave. West and 3rd Street is set to be complete by the end of the month.

DULUTH, Minn. – Throughout the month of August, a group of artists have been working on a mural, funded by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and through a grant with the McKnight Foundation to showcase indigenous history.

“It’s a story that’s been missing for a long time and so it’s kind of a reminder that we still exist and we still have stories to share and insight to share during this time,” lead artist Moira Villiard said.

The artists have been working on different symbols like fish, water life, dragonflies and a hand offering tobacco.

“The big hand is holding out tobacco which is one of our first teachings as Anishinaabe people is we always offer something, we don’t just take,” artist Michelle Defoe said.

And the dragonflies were designed by kids in the community.

“I sent out coloring sheets for the kids to design dragonflies because I wasn’t sure if they could come and paint. And then we figured out a way to have them come paint safely,” Villiard said.

“Our youth is our future generations and we include them in a lot of things that we’re doing, we don’t really separate them on things and they have a vision that we don’t have,” Defoe added.

The mural, located on the Seafarers Center on the corner of 21st Ave. West and 3rd Street is set to be complete by the end of the month, and the artists hope it will teach visitors about the history and provide color to the community for years to come.

“We’ve had a lot of invisibility with native people so if you look at the history of this land here, we’ve coexisted for a long time now and so it’s really great to see our art in our part of the city be represented,” Defoe said.

“I feel like a lot of the narrative people in our region has been negative and negative statistics and that’s all you really hear about the community as a whole so being able to show that we create beautiful things and have beautiful stories and a beautiful presence, I think that’s really beneficial,” Villiard added.

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