The mural, entitled stɑl̓əw̓, or Big River, is two panels, one showing salmon, the other sturgeon. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

“Big River” mural by Kwantlen artist unveiled

The Canada 150 project will be in place in the Township council chambers

Two new murals covering the walls of the Township council chamber were unveiled at the start of Monday’s meeting.

Created as a Canada 150 project by Kwantlen First Nation artist q̓ʷɑt̓ic̓ɑ (Phyllis Atkins), the younger sister of Kwantlen Chief Marilyn Gabriel.

The mural is named stɑl̓əw̓, meaning “Big River.”

“I’m going to be honest, I struggled a little bit with this project,” said q̓ʷɑt̓ic̓ɑ.

“A lot of our people see this as celebrating colonialism,” she said of the Canada 150 celebrations. She referenced her mother’s time in a residential school as something that can’t be taken back.

“I wanted to take this as a platform to say, ‘We are resilient,’” q̓ʷɑt̓ic̓ɑ said.

“We’ve always been here, and we’re connected to the land,” she added.

The murals depict salmon on one side, sturgeon on the other. The tiles of the mural are made of thousands of photos of Langley residents.

Salmon are a symbol of a new beginning, Chief Gabriel said.

Mayor Jack Froese called the evening a historic event for the Township.


Chief Marilyn Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation, and her younger sister, artist q̓ʷɑt̓ic̓ɑ (Phyllis Atkins) at the unveiling the new murals. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

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