One of the only Indigenous murals in the city of Calgary has been covered up because of new building development.
Blackfoot artist Kalum Teke Dan created Sunset Songs in 2018 and said it represents “moving forward, rebuilding.”
The work is well-loved by members of the city but was bricked over because of the development.
“I feel pretty disrespected,” Dan said. “They should have consulted at least me or the owner of the building. Maybe we could have made some resolves.”
The mural is located on a busy corner in the downtown core. Passersby say they were shocked to see this iconic piece covered up.
“In our time of mourning, this is not the time to be doing this,” said Theodora Warrior who is originally from Piikani Nation. “To me, that just showed what they think of us, that they can cover us up, that we don’t have a voice anymore.”
The piece was commissioned by the city’s Beltline Urban Mural Project (BUMP).
In a statement to APTN News, the City of Calgary said that murals are considered temporary and that property owners can change or remove artwork at any time.
It isn’t known what company is behind the build, but the city said it’s looking into it.
“There is currently a temporary stop-work notice on this site and an investigation is ongoing,” said Sherri Zickefoose in the statement.
“The timing of construction on the neighbouring parcel, which will obscure Kalum Teke Dan’s work, is truly unfortunate following the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It’s a reminder of the importance of Indigenous artwork in Calgary.”
Since 2018, Dan has been commissioned to paint other murals around the city, including one commissioned by BUMP, but he said he is in search of a new home for Sunset Songs.