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Saskatoon bus shelter art project inspired by Indigenous history, values

Saskatoon Transit’s new bus shelter at 12th Street and Broadway Avenue was inspired by an elder’s traditional teachings of Indigenous history and values. @CynthiaBlockSk / Twitter

The City of Saskatoon unveiled a new bus shelter on Thursday that it says complies with a call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Ten students from the industry and career education program at Nutana Collegiate created the design for the colourful structure, now standing at 12th Street and Broadway Avenue.

READ MORE: University of Saskatchewan opening doors for Indigenous engineering students

The artwork was inspired by elder Harry Lafond’s traditional teachings of Indigenous history and values. The designs were then laser-cut by MetalShapes Manufacturing.

“This project offered a unique way for students to represent ideas of truth and reconciliation and express themselves as young people,” Nutana teacher Nicole Stevens said in a press release.

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“The students used the seasons, earth, fire, water, the medicine wheel, and (a) teepee as symbols of their story. We are proud of the finished product … we hope this bus shelter brings a positive sense of community to all who see and use it.”

WATCH (June 17, 2019): Bridging the gap in economic reconciliation in Saskatchewan

Click to play video: 'Bridging the gap in economic reconciliation in Saskatchewan' Bridging the gap in economic reconciliation in Saskatchewan
Bridging the gap in economic reconciliation in Saskatchewan – Jun 17, 2019

Saskatoon Transit said its art project complies with TRC’s call to action No. 79: calling upon the government, Indigenous organizations and the arts community to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration, including integrating Indigenous history, heritage values and memory practices into Canada’s history.

“This shelter is yet another example of moving toward a more inclusive, responsive and welcoming transit system,” Saskatoon Transit director Jim McDonald said in a statement.

“It is a physical reminder and proof of the commitment the city has made on answering the calls to action.”

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Another successful collaboration with high school students at Aden Bowman Collegiate created a Métis-inspired bus shelter, according to city officials.

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