Hamilton is looking at decorating its future light rail transit (LRT) stops with Indigenous art from across the country — although one councillor says it's important to include local artists too.
Councillors voted Tuesday to look into borrowing Indigenous art for the 17 stops, which will dot the route from McMaster University to Eastgate Square. It will also look at commissioning new art.
Aidan Johnson, Ward 1 councillor, says the move acknowledges that LRT runs along a historic Indigenous travel route on traditional Haudenosaunee land.
Lloyd Ferguson, Ancaster councillor, wanted to make sure the plan includes local and non-Indigenous art too — not just Indigenous art from other areas.
"I've been consistently saying the inclusion of non-Indigenous art is fine and well with me," he said.
The city has already consulted its Aboriginal advisory committee. Arnold Jacobs, an Onondaga Nation artist who owns the Two Turtle Fine Art Gallery in Ohsweken, says when it's done well, such endeavours can be a bridge between cultures.
"It's educational for people to learn what some of the images are and what they're about," said Jacobs, who's had the gallery since 1985. "It's something visual people can connect to."
City council will cast a final vote on the matter Wednesday. Staff will report back on the issue in December.
As for LRT overall, construction is due to start in 2019, with the system launching in 2024.