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. Michelle Stoney – a member of the Gitxsan Nation, House of Delgamuukw, and Cree on her father’s side – created her mural, "Majagalee," (the Gitxsan word for both children and flowers) at our 1885 Trans-Canada Hwy W, Kamloops, BC location.
Michelle’s journey begins in Gitanmaax, an Indigenous village in northern British Columbia where she grew up and still lives today. She comes from a family of Gitxsan artists, including the late Victor Mowatt who was her grandfather and a master carver, as well as her grandmother’s brother, Earl Muldow, a world-renowned sculptor and jeweller. She is inspired by nature, her beautiful surroundings and by giving back to her community. Her unique style comes from the traditions of her family and culture: bright colours with black outlines from her Cree heritage and formline from her Gitxsan heritage. In 2012, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
For this mural, Michelle was inspired by the location where the mural would be created; she liked that it was big space and on a corner. She knew immediately that she wanted to include a mountain as well as the hand design she created for the Gitxsan Nation Residential School survivors.
For Michelle, reconciliation means being open to and learning from the stories of local Indigenous communities. It’s one reason why she chose to participate in this project – that across the country, Indigenous artists from the community where the murals were created, were given a space to tell their stories.
Thank you, Michelle, 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 Michelle’s mural.
You can see Michelle’s latest projects on Instagram.