Land acknowledgement statue at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School. Installed June 2022. In partnership with Indigenous artist Keegan Starlight.
In the Sacred Circle no one is front, no one is behind,
no one is above and no one is below.
The Sacred Circle statue represents that within the circle we are all equal. In the circle no one is front, no one is behind, no one is above and no one is below. The Scared Circle is designed to create unity. Featured in The Scared Circle are seven eagle feathers fashioned into the shape of a women's headdress. While it is rare to see a woman's headdress, this statue honours the educators and caretakers for our youth. It is a gift to all leaders who show bravery and strength. The feathers bowing out represent being open to possibility and future growth.
To enjoy this statue you are encouraged to walk around it clockwise. In walking around The Sacred Circle you are connecting with those who came before you on this land. We hope this statue encourages you to learn about other people and their cultures. Through learning comes respect, compassion and friendship.
Other symbols in this statue:
-The seven feathers in this headdress represents the Treaty 7 regions across Canada.
-The seven feathers also represent the Seven Sacred Teachings, which are written around the base of the headband. These are: Honesty, Humility, Respect, Bravery, Love, Truth and Wisdom.
-The seven feathers also encourage us to reflect on the significance of seven generations. One should learn from the history of their great-grandparents, grandparents and parents and then consider the future of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Examining our past and envisioning the future will lead to wisdom within.
Unveiled June 2022 - In conjunction with the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Artist Team: Keegan Starlight (painting), Michael Perks (metal statue), Claire Perks ('96 STS graduate, creative). This statue was created in consultation with members of the Tsuut'ina & Blackfoot Nations.
Working with Keegan Starlight was such an interesting partnership and lead to many valuable, in-depth conversations and learning. Truly a new friendship and partnership was established during this project.
Keegan painting on-site at the Monkey Wranch.
Keegan had the inspired idea to bring his daughter Brianna in to do child-sized handprints on each feather. We loved the tie-in of family, youth and honouring our children.
Another interesting aspect of the project is looking at Michael's original sketches and marquis used to plan out the statue. A lot of brainstorming and iterations ensued and ultimately we ended up with a woman's headress and the seven sacred words.