Prince Albert teen unveils mural depicting Cree value of interconnected relationships
PRINCE ALBERT -- A 17-year-old artist in Prince Albert has unveiled a mural representing her Cree culture.
Jordan Twist and her dad Christopher started working on the mural at the end of October. On Sunday, she revealed the final piece at the South Hill Mall.
Twist said the mural tells the story of an entire community coming together to take care of a child — it was inspired by the Cree term Wahkotawin, which refers to the interconnectedness of all relationships.
“It’s not only the family who impacts a child’s growth. It’s also the community they grow up in. You have the power to be that positive influence,” said Twist.
“You can show them how the world is truly a beautiful place.”
The idea of Wahkotawin is reflected in the mural’s imagery. Twist and her dad painted Indigenous people bringing fish to a group of women embracing a baby. A baby bear is also painted inside of its mother bear, with more fish inside of the baby bear’s body.
Lieutenant Governor Russell Mirasty attended the unveiling. He said the mural is important for both its artistic value and the Indigenous beliefs it represents.
“It’s telling a story about Indigenous people living with and on the land. It just brings back a lot of memories for me and it resonates in many ways with me and my experience,” said Mirasty.
“I think people will take individual parts of it, different elements and it will tell them something on a personal level.”
Twist, who’s from James Smith Cree Nation, created the mural as part of an extracurricular program at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School. Carlton Collection Builders aims to get student art into the public eye through mentorship.
Principal Jeff Court said encouraging Indigenous youth to express themselves is an important part of truth and reconciliation.
“At the end of the day, this is something that’s a representation of the fact that we are all Treaty people,” said Court.
“Our youth is really our next generation of leaders that are coming up and we need to be open to these types of events, to speak the truth and really recognize so that we can get to that place where we need to get to.”
Carlton High School is part of the province’s Following Their Voices initiative, which aims to increase graduation rates among Indigenous students.