A new Indigenous mural now sits on the walls of St. Joseph High School in Red Deer.
The mural, which is located on the school’s second floor near the career centre and wraps around two walls, showcases a falcon sitting on rocks, a family of baby birds in a nest and another falcon flying.
Nakusp, B.C., artist Delree Dumont, who has experience in acrylic painting, smudge fans and medicine bags, was commissioned for the work.
“Our athletic mascot is the falcon which is a symbol in Indigenous spirituality,” said principal Graeme Daniel.
“Stories and legends are part of the oral history of the Indigenous people. We are honoured to have this aspect of Indigenous beliefs and values incorporated into this mural. This mural ties our school mascot to Indigenous culture and teachings. The mural will remind our students and staff of this important link.”
This is the fourth mural in Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. There are also Indigenous murals in École Camille J. Lerouge School, St. Francis of Assisi Middle School and St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School.
Selena Frizzley, RDCRS First Nations, Métis, and Inuit team co-ordinator, said it’s essential to honour Indigenous ways of knowing by welcoming Indigenous community members into the schools.
“We are honoured to welcome Delree Dumont into St. Joseph High School and see it as an opportunity for students to connect to Indigenous culture and teachings. Students have watched Delree’s work and the painting come to life to reflect the school’s design and the artist’s vision,” Frizzly said.
Taylor Bargholz, a teacher at St. Joseph High School, said the prairie falcon is the symbol of the school and symbolizes wisdom, protection and victory.
“When I reached out to our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit team, they immediately had Delree in mind,” said Bargholz.
“As soon as we met, we knew she was perfect for this. Delree is an extremely talented artist and a blessing to have in our school. It was truly inspiring watching her bring this vision come to life over the past week.”