Murals commissioned for Inuvialuit Mural Project

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) have commissioned 33 murals as part of the Inuvialuit Mural Project. Photo courtesy IRC

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) have commissioned 33 murals as part of the Inuvialuit Mural Project.

According to a report by rcinet.ca, the IRC provided materials and supplies to six communities: Aklavik, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk, and Ulukhaktok.

Courtney Charlie, of Aklavik, was among the first to complete the Aklavik murals.

“I thought a lot about what makes Aklavik Aklavik,” said Charlie in the report.

Her painting depicts a figure in a traditional parka with a drum, and a mountain and sun behind them, surrounded by animal imagery.

Many students at Aklavik High School collaborated on another mural.

Jodi Arey was the lead artist for the mural and Colton Archie, Sarah Meyook, Deadra Greenland, Starr Elanik, and teachers Heather Evans and Amanda Reynolds also worked on the project.

The mural shows a caribou and changing backgrounds with activities people would do in the community each season.

The painting has the Aklavik motto, “Never say die,” written in Inuvialuit and Gwichʼin, because it was important to the students to reflect both cultures represented in Aklavik and the school, said Evans.

Miranda Kowana also wanted to reflect both cultures in her work, but she did it primarily through animal imagery.

The owl in her painting represents Inuvialuit and the caribou represents Gwichʼin, she said.

Kowana also wanted to reflect the importance of trapping in her mural, including related symbols and several of the animals in the area.

She lives in Aklavik but applied while in isolation in Inuvik. When she returned home and was accepted to the project, she painted when she could carve out some time between working at the local general store, Stanton’s Grocery Store, and caring for her young son.

For Megan Lennie, making her painting was about reflecting her newer home.

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Lennie is from Inuvik but moved to Aklavik in adulthood after attending art school at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Lennie’s piece incorporates the Aklavik braid, Inuvialuit and Gwichʼin, are in the painting by having the braid and silhouettes of people surround both logos.

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