The Loop: Reclaiming place and practice

·2 min read
Artist Tiffany Shaw-Collinge stands in front of one of her works across Edmonton, Pehonan, at ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞. Shaw-Collinge is behind the Kinistinâw Park project in downtown Edmonton. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC - image credit)
Artist Tiffany Shaw-Collinge stands in front of one of her works across Edmonton, Pehonan, at ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞. Shaw-Collinge is behind the Kinistinâw Park project in downtown Edmonton. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC - image credit)

Edmonton is home to a large and diverse Indigenous community, with artists, musicians historians and more whose work reflects their culture across the city.

This week, CBC producer Ariel Fournier shares how a school in northern Alberta is returning to the land — hunting, preparing and eating food in traditional ways. We'll also hear from a local Métis artist creating public art around the city about the meaning these spaces hold for her.

Architect and multidisciplinary artist Tiffany Shaw-Collinge took CBC's Adrienne Lamb on a walk through Kinistinâw Park, a project in the heart of the Boyle Street community that looks to bring life and vibrancy to the downtown core.

The park incorporates a beading pattern that is echoed through much of Shaw-Collinge's work, and calls back to her Métis family heritage.

CBC
CBC

Here is some of what Shaw-Collinge told CBC. The excerpt has been edited for clarity:

"People who know about beading very well will know this is a Cree-Métis beading pattern, so this is for them. And it also just looks like a lovely pattern for people who don't know what it is referencing, but this is really meant to be for Indigenous people. And that's what the city is missing in large part is this Indigenous identity, [woven] into the fabric of its buildings, into the fabric of the public gardens, the fabric of the city. And so this is just one of the many works that this city has, but its still not enough in my opinion.

"I think one thing that's really interesting is three people had died here not that long ago from overdose. What was really important for me to know and to feel about those tragic passings is that I felt really hopeful that they were together in this park, in this space, rather than in a place that was less about themselves and provided less dignity to them in their space.

"And so it fuelled me to feel like the work that I'm doing is [more] important, to make sure that everyone has this welcoming nature so that people can experience things greater than themselves. And while I do not wish for that to persist in our city, because I think that it's a very real problem that continues to keep exploding, expanding, unfortunately, I think places like this allow for dignity and calmness and a welcome quality that we could see in a lot more places in this area."

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