Mi’kmaw artists painting mural to honour Anna Mae Pictou Aquash

Two Mi’kmaw artists in Halifax say they’re painting a mural of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash to ensure that their stories and culture aren’t forgotten.

Artist Rebecca Cope got permission from Aquash’s family to develop the project.

“There’s not many women depicted in public art or monuments here in the city, so I also thought it was really important, (to) just have a mural of an Indigenous woman and telling her story and everything here,” she said.

Aquash was murdered in South Dakota in 1975.

Some members of the American Indian Movement believed she was an informant for the F.B.I.

The mural is currently in six pieces at the non-profit studio, Wonderneath Art Society.

When complete, the mural will measure three metres wide and five metres tall.

“It’s going to be very vibrant very beautiful and it’s honouring the legacy of  Annie Mae in a very good way,” said Cope. “We’re talking and we’re showing a little bit of who she was as a person, as an individual and what she was all about, yes, we’re really bringing the spirit of Annie Mae to the forefront of this project.”

Artist Tayla Paul hopes the mural will lead to more art and monuments.

“Things like this that are so important to our culture, people who are so important to our culture here,” said Paul. “It feels so good to be able to have their presence known on our own territory finally and to share that through public art with coming generations.”

The artists were able to put the project together with grants from the provincial government and non-profit organizations.

A permanent location for the mural hasn’t been determined.

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