New sculpture honours Toronto’s indigenous people
PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, has unveiled a large-scale granite and bronze sculpture to recognise the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
It is said to pay tribute to their relationship to the land, air and water on which the airport now operates.
The sculpture was created by David General, Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan of the Six Nations, and was conceived and installed in partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Called ‘Maanjidowin: The Gathering’, the sculpture is more than 16-feet in length and features three mythical fishers – Makwa-Kwe (Bear), Nigig-Kwe (Otter) and Migizi-Kwe (Eagle) – who have come to the estuaries and islands along Toronto’s Lake Ontario shoreline to fish.
The canoe in which the fishers sit is inscribed with words and symbols of significance to the Mississaugas of the Credit, including: The Medicine Wheel; the Seven Grandfather Teachings, which are guiding principles that provide the moral and cultural foundation of life; and poetry from the current chief, R Stacey Laforme.
As indicated by inscribed arm tattoos, the creatures are all female, as females played a central role as custodians of cultural traditions surrounding water.
The sculpture sits on the south dock wall overlooking the West Gap, and will welcome visitors and residents alike from its location.
“PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Airport have enjoyed a productive relationship with the Mississaugas of the Credit for many years and have consulted on significant projects pertaining to our developments and environmental efforts,” said Amanda Walton, chair of the airport’s board of directors.
“It has been our pleasure and privilege to facilitate the creation of this beautiful sculpture and place it at our airport for the enjoyment and education of our passengers, staff and community.”
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