Lethbridge College has unveiled a mural celebrating aboriginal heritage, created by local artist and alumnus Delia Cross Child, an art teacher at Kainai High School on the Blood Reserve.
“I remember when I was a [student] here the first thing that I looked for was familiar faces,” Cross Child said on the day of the unveiling, in the video below. She said she was glad to be able to furnish such images for current students.
Cross Child went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge with a double major in art and Native American studies, according to a Lethbridge College press release, and then a bachelor’s degree in education.
Her formal education combined with the tradition and culture she is steeped in fuel her painting passion, the school said in its release. The artist’s work has been exhibited at the Glenbow Museum, Walter Phillips Gallery and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.
Cross Child created the mural with the help of a $10,600 Post Secondary Institutes Project grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) last July. The project fit with Lethbridge College’s goal of intertwining tradition with educational and career goals for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, the school said in a statement. The school prides itself on providing access to personal, cultural and academic counseling tailored to aboriginal needs.
“Our goal was to have a far-reaching and long-lasting influence on students, the surrounding aboriginal communities and the general public,” said Robin Little Bear, Sooyikayaaki, Lethbridge College, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Manager, in a media release. “I truly believe that the beauty and the presence this mural will bring to our campus will achieve that goal.”