The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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171 Princess Street (2)    Location Map

Completed Mural: Photos 1-5
In-Progress Shots: Photos 6-11 (in chronological order)

Location: SE corner Princess & St. James; North Face

Occupant: Public Safety Building Parking Arcade

District: City Centre

Neighbourhood: Civic Centre

Artist(s): Mike Valcourt

Year: 2017

Sponsors: Synonym Art Consultation, Graffiti Art Programming

Painters: Assisted by Dave Levasseur


Mike Valcourt: "Nibaa is Ojibwe for sleep, which also implies that a journey is taking place. We travel as our body rests and our spirit crosses over to the spirit world. The Indigenous woman here wears a wreath upon her head and the juxtaposition of the skull just below, on her neckline, indicates a balance between life and death. She is in limbo, so to speak. There is a ghosted hand covering her mouth, representing the attempt to silence, whether self-inflicted or externally imposed, there is the desire to remain silent. The work also has a controversial message, suggesting that doing nothing also causes harm, both from government and from the lack of programs, protocols and standards our nation fails to exercise. The band of three colours represents the separation of the physical and spiritual worlds. The parade of women marching across the Mural represent the missing and murdered women, walking along a highway, much like the Highway of Tears. As they disappear across the bands and over to the spirit world, they are transformed into buffalo. They are free."

"As part of the Seven Teachings - Respect is represented by the buffalo. The buffalo gives every part of his being to sustain the human way of living, not because she is of less value, but because she respects the balance and needs of others. Our women are sacred and must be valued."

Source: Wall-To-Wall Mural Festival notes