Mural celebrates Biosphere and Reconciliation

Future visitors to Long Point Eco-Adventures will be greeted by a unique, inspiring, and expressive art installation called the Moccasin Identifier project that is in keeping with our treaty responsibilities around truth and reconciliation and the international effort to build healing relationships between peoples and the land.

It  also embodies the Biosphere’s mission “to enhance ecosystem and community well-being”.

The 8 foot by 24 foot (approx. 2.4 by 7.3 metres) mural, integrates a variety of images around a concept created by two international artists and a First Nations artist to create an expressive piece that provokes conversation about Treaty and the fact that we are all treaty people. This piece is a mutli-faceted collaboration that includes government support, national organizations, local groups, individuals, students, Indigenous partners, and the two artists, Azurite De Luca and Benjamin Swatez,  who have been celebrated for their works in troubled regions around the world.  Working with UNICEF, Save the Children, Rotary International and other agencies, the two have created murals that promote peace and recognize the hardships people have faced in war-torn regions.

This past month (May 2023) Deluca and Swatez collaborated and First Nations artist Bezaliel Hill along with students from Mrs. Laura McKenzie’s class at our home school Valley Heights Secondary School and 30 other people completed the new mural, which will eventually be displayed on the Long Point Eco-Adventures Observatory building.  They also visited the region in March where they shared their knowledge and experiences from their travels in the Congo, Poland, and ground zero in the Ukraine with other local secondary school students.  Carolyn King, former Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations and a recipient of the Order of Canada  and her team from Moccasin Identifier project also spent time with students from the Delhi, Simcoe Composite, Valley Heights, and Waterford high schools discussing Treaty and what it means to be Treaty people.  The students contributed indirectly to the mural through art produced during the workshops held under Moccasin Identifier, an initiative to raise awareness of indigenous culture, Treaty rights, and ancestral presence in Treaty #3 on the lands across Ontario.  The workshops and the mural production were organized by Project Manager Cynthia Brink for the Long Point Biosphere Region with financial support from Nature Canada and the federal department of Environment and Climate Change Canada.  This Mural is the first of four  expected to grace the Norfolk County landscape.

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