Keelesdale Mural – Recognizing Local Heritage

Next month, a new mural will be visible near the future Keelesdale Station. Titled That’s How We Roll, the mural was painted by grade 11 art students from York Memorial Collegiate Institute. 

This mural, painted by students, will soon be on display on the fencing at the future Keelesdale Station

Like many of the murals on display at Crosstown sites, That’s How We Roll highlights landmarks and points of interest from the area in which it will be displayed, and its content reflects the experiences of the creators –youth who live and learn in the area. The mural depicts the concept of ‘travel’ as it has evolved over time. However, there’s another story being told in this mural; the story of Indigenous peoples in Canada. That’s How We Roll explores the rich cultural history of the Black Creek community including the people native to its lands while also recognizing the value that their thousands of years of experience continues to have on our lives today. 

Under the tutelage of visual arts and design teacher Tobie Loukes, students were encouraged to research the history of human settlement in the Black Creek area and learn about Aboriginal ways of life, so that they could include references throughout the mural. Examples include depictions of longhouses and a Wampum Belt, as well as the Truth and Reconciliation symbol.

Aboriginal cultural references. From left to right: longhouses, Wampum Belt, traditional jewellery, truth and reconciliations symbol

Altogether, the mural illustrates both the evolution of travel and the history and resilience of Indigenous peoples in Canada, beginning on the left with on-foot travel, and ending on the right with a new multimodal transit system and new relationship. 

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