If the Drumming Stops, 2021, Tania Willard, Peter Morin, Cheryl L'Hirondelle
The glass art at Mill Woods stop symbolically connects transit users to stories of the Papaschase Cree territory. Artists Tania Willard, Peter Morin and Cheryl L’Hirondelle use their art to show the complex interrelationship of the past and present, and to highlight the injustice of the Papaschase Indian Reserve dispossession. Their artwork juxtaposes archival images and drawings of the site’s original ecosystem and society with the modern, diverse community, allowing, for example, a commuter to look through the eye of the buffalo while standing within the glass transit shelter. Cree syllabics, featured on custom-coloured ‘woodpecker-red’ glass, share a traditional ‘Wake-up Song’ in Cree. The title of this overall design relates to a historical account shared with the artists by Chief Calvin Bruneau.
It is the intention of the artists to give voice to the spirit of the language, land, histories and present realities of Indigenous peoples in what has become the current neighborhood of Mill Woods, but which was and will always be carried in the hearts of Papaschase descendants. Working within their interpretations of the protocol of being a guest in Papaschase territory, Morin and Willard invited Cheryl L’Hirondelle into this collaborative work that asserts the