New Brunswick

Art to cover racist graffiti at Fredericton reserve

A project by the St. Mary's First Nation near Fredericton is replacing racist and hate-filled graffitti with aboriginal art.
Artists cover hate with art on the overpass at the Two Nations Crossings. (CBC)

A project by the St. Mary's First Nation near Fredericton is replacing racist and hate-filled graffiti with aboriginal art.

Local artists and young people are turning the overpass at the Two Nations Crossings into a mural.

It not only covers the defacement by spray-painting vandals, but is a matter of pride for the community, according to Allan Polchies Jr., St. Mary's community planner.

"The culture visually is not seen all that much, other than the annual pow wow that we have in June. So I think having artwork expressions done on mural walls outdoors, it's there 24/7, 365 days a year. So I think it's a sense of pride of who we are as Wolastoqiyik people," Polchies said.

The St. Mary’s First Nation and its entertainment centre have made a donation of $2,000 for the project.

Local artists and students wiped out the graffiti with white paint, and three artists are now working on murals of native symbols such as a dream catcher, canoe, arrow heads and eagles.

One of the artists is April Paul, who says the mural work seems to be appreciated.

"It's brought the community out to see us. Every time they come by, they always wave, or 'Good job' or honk. Some bring us pop, some bring us coffee," she said with a laugh.

Paul says the mural project at the overpass will take another two weeks to complete.

 

 

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