Kichi Sibi Trails commissioned two artworks to mark and celebrate the rich heritage of the Indigenous trails and the Eastern Woodlands, and the ongoing presence of Algonquin Anishinabe in the Kichi Sibi Region. We hope you will see these artworks in person!
Our logos were conceived and created by Simon Brascoupé (biography), a highly esteemed Algonquin Artist of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. The bear will be used to mark walking trails, while the beaver will be used to mark trails used uniquely for portage. The bear will also serve as the general logo for Kichi Sibi Trails.
These designs are unique symbols of traditional Algonquin territory, history, and culture. Aboriginal People traditionally have learned by listening and learning from the animal world and nature for their profound insight and knowledge. The ability to observe is central to the artist’s vision of living in harmony with nature.Simon Brascoupé
Kichi Sìbì Mìkànsan – Bear/Makwa
The bear land trail marker is inspired by an ancient Algonquin story. The image shows a bear walking over Algonquin territory. Even though the bear is large, it walks softly on the land. The image challenges us to walk on the land sustainably. It inspires us to mimic the bear’s good example.
Kichi Sìbì Mìkànsan – Beaver/Amik
The Beaver portage trail marker is inspired by the beaver who can be found throughout Algonquin territory. The Beaver since time immemorial has shaped the land by building dams on waterways to form ponds that form biodiverse rich ecosystems. The beavers track symbolizes their travel over the land searching for trees and branches to build its dams and lodges.
This spectacular Algonquin mural is a mixed-media collaboration created by a mother / daughter team of superb Algonquin Artists from Kitigan Zibi. Miskwi / Bloodline is the mosaic while Gathering Phases is the painting.
The mural is permanently displayed on the west-facing wall of the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse, in New Edimburgh Park, in the City of Ottawa.
Miskwi / Bloodline
Mosaic Artist: Doreen Stevens (biography).
Technical Advisor: Conrad Stevens
Labourer: Ted Cash
The heart medicine is our first teacher. We are the embassadors of our environment, Aki, our Planet Earth.Doreen Stevens
Indicating the ancestral lineage of Pinesi and Broken Cloud Kiskanakwad.
All my relations traveled the area offering one of the sacred medicines of the four sacred plants, sweet grass, tobacco, sage and cedar, to the great water lynx, the Mishapishoo for safe passage.
The frog represents the air and water in the braid of sweetgrass
Alongside, the wampum shells indicates our honoured treaties for the unceded territory of our ancestors since time immemorial.
The surroundings of the area’s trails are filled with an abundance of species including our sacred trees “the lungs of the earth”, their seeds indicating the fertility and the renewal of the spirit of the Earth and in celebration of our four seasons, often referred to during the Strawberry Moon in June.
The water is the blood life of Mother Earth and is one of our sacred elements. The Sun rising in the East being our Grandfather, and the Moon in the West, our Grandmother.
The central panel shows the partridge figure, representing Chief Pinesi Constant, in greater detail, as well as numerous symbolic objects and figures surrounding it, including the great water lynx, a figure representing rapids and white water in Algonquin, a frog, a canoe, and cattails.
For the water, the tiles are a vibrant turquoise in a fixed array of three types of blue in a pattern.
The partridge is in three different shades of brown, formed of three types of natural brown shapes in a feathered type of pattern.
The background is a contrasting backsplash to complement the bird’s color.
The sun is in different shades of orange and yellow against the backsplash, with tiles in a pattern of broken cloud indicating sunset.
The trees on either side of the central image are formed of tiles in different shades of green and include leaves of various native species in a pattern continues the flow of the central section.
The figures indicate that we our strongly connected to our environment and all things sacred.
Painting Artist: Charlotte Aki Stevens (biography).
My public art vision is a cultural one directed more towards youth. Making more accessible public art programs for youth at risk can get them off the streets, change their perspective or life, and give hope for the future of all.
My dream is to make the City of Ottawa a more beautiful place with a positive, bright outlook on native culture and art. By working more in the community we can change the morals and consciousness of the public for the better.Charlotte Aki Stevens
“Gathering Phases” portrays all the stages of life in general, as the upper mural does, and peoples’ lives, in particular. It depicts the gathering of people – from youth to elderly and all the phases in between, and their intention to be together living in nature.