DULUTH, MN– All day today people have been painting a mural at the Gichi-Ode’Akiing formally known as Lake Place Park to honor of a Native American leader.
The mural is to honor the life of Ojibwe tribe leader Chief Buffalo.
Artist Moria Villard says, “Basically was the one who guaranteed our right to exist here. Back in a time when the Indigenous people of the area were being pushed further west and killed.”
The mural is a collaboration between The Zeitgeist Arts Foundation and the Duluth Indigenous Commission, and Moria Villiard is in charge of the mural design.
Villard says, “We’ll be filling it with Indigenous stories, Indigenous aesthetics, and also bits and pieces of his story.”
For Villiard, she says the project was the perfect fit, “I’ve worked with Zeitgeist, and I’m an Indigenous person, so it was kind of a good pairing.”
One reason she says the project is so important, it shows the Duluth area’s history.
“Duluth doesn’t really have a representation of Indigenous people that’s by indigenous people and is just having a space to be visible and to make the history accessible,” says Villard.
And it gets everyone in the community involved, “You know it’s native folks and non-native folks, it just allows for community building,” Villard says.
This community project has been in development for the past three months.
The project is being funded through the organization, and project leaders will be looking for grants that will help fund the next phase of the mural in the spring.
PHOTO CREDIT: Moira Villiard