In September 2021, to acknowledge the first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we commissioned Indigenous artists across Canada to create murals at six of our Petro-Canada locations. Cyril Assiniboine, Saulteux Ojibwa – born on the Long Plain First Nation community near Portage La Prairie, Manitoba – created his mural at our 1425 McPhillips St. location in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
A self-taught native artist, Cyril likes to illustrate the cultural traditions of his own people as well as the traditions of other Indigenous cultures. Cyril has been a Powwow dancer across Canada and the United States; he draws inspiration from the movements of the dancers, the rhythm of the drums and the rich colours of the dancers’ regalia. The symbols of the plains Ojibwa - tall grass, buffalo, wolves, horses and mythical faces – also feature prominently in his art.
Cyril’s first one-person show was held at The Wah-sa Gallery in Winnipeg in 1983. He has since created many celebrated works including a print commissioned by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers football team, several pieces in the Winnipeg Art Gallery and a coin for the Royal Canadian Mint.
When Cyril was planning this mural with the theme of reconciliation, he wasn’t sure where he was going to start. It took him through the winter to find his starting point: the hoop dancer. And then once he figured that out, everything else fell into place.
Thank you, Cyril, for creating this beautiful mural and for giving us an opportunity to appreciate and learn from your story of reconciliation. See the mural come to life and learn more about the message of Cyril’s mural from Sharon Ward, a Knowledge Keeper from the Long Plain First Nation.