The streets of Sechelt now display a new series of street banners adorned with images from local artists in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day on Tuesday, June 21.
The District of Sechelt commissioned Manuela Salinas, a local indigenous artist and educator, to design a banner that reflects her feelings about National Indigenous Peoples Day. The result was an artwork titled Towards Freedom that can now be seen along Cowrie St.
“I really wanted to stay true to Indigenous Peoples Day,” said Salinas. “I knew I needed to draw a person. A challenge I’ve never taken on yet. I wanted this person to speak to indigenous history in an impactful way.” According to Salinas, the depiction of the red hand signifies Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and the orange hand signifies Every Child Matters. Salinas also noted that “these hands represent people who are gone but are still alive in our hearts and memories. This piece speaks to indigenous peoples near and far, past and present, of all ages.”
Through Weaving a Gathering Place and the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, artist Ali Casey led banner design workshops for shíshálh Nation members. To the theme of Oceans, Above and Below, and with help from ten youth and elder designers, Ali led sessions to hand-paint each of the unique banners. These banners are now on display along Dolphin St.
The District of Sechelt would like to thank the Sunshine Coast Credit Union for sponsoring Manuela Salinas’ banners.