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Painting a more welcoming community

Arts, Language and Culture
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Reconciliation Nipawin was looking for a way to make Nipawin a more welcoming, and representative community, and create a sense of belonging for Indigenous people living in Nipawin and those passing through. They also wanted to highlight a local artist.

A beautiful mural was the answer.

In early December 2021, Reconciliation Nipawin unveiled the painting they commissioned from local Indigenous artist Horton Severight. During the event, the six panels displayed at Nipawin Family Bakery were smudged to cleanse the area and connect with spirit.

Severight says he uses art to connect with his culture, and art always calmed him during a difficult childhood growing up in Nipawin. He said he loves mother nature and the cultural meaning of each animal. He said believes we all have animal spirits guiding, watching and protecting us. 

His pieces are usually animals and for this work he painted Owl, Wolf, Turtle, Eagle and Bear, but he also decided to include an Every Child Matters piece to honor the Residential School survivors and the children that never made it home. Severight also used the handprints of his son in the work.

During the unveiling, before smudging the paintings, First Nation and Metis Education consultant for Northeast School Division Sharon Meyer spoke about the history that has tried to silence First Nations People.  She added that these paintings being shared with Nipawin is an example of rebirthing culture.

Reconciliation Nipawin is proud of the project as a good example of how a community can collaborate and support Indigenous artistry.

They give their thanks to Diamond North Credit Union, Cumberland College, Lake Country Co-op, SK Lotteries, Town of Nipawin, and Family Bakery for their contributions to this project. As well as support from students of LP Miller High School and ACS contracting to install this mural. 

Follow Reconciliation Nipawin on Facebook

Read more on the unveiling:
Nipawin showcases indigenous artwork (Northeast Now)

New mural unveiled in Nipawin based on seven Indigenous teachings (SaskToday)

Horton Severight uses his art to educate and inspire change (Nipawin Journal)

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