Jun 19 2015
Fine Art student paints tipi for Aboriginal Education Centre
Fine Art student Cassandra Cochrane was thrilled when the Aboriginal Education Centre asked her to accept a commission to paint its tipi, currently located outside the centre on the south side of Building 7.
This was her first tipi painting project—Cassandra’s preferred medium is beading—but the soon to be second-year student was keen to take on the commission and careful about doing it right. She spent three weeks planning and painting waves of colour, animals and four symbols at the top of the tipi to represent different aboriginal groups in Canada: an inuksuk, a whale, a turtle and the horizontal infinity symbol from the Métis flag.
“It felt really good to see the tipi completed and raised,” says Cassandra. “The discipline I’m learning in the Fine Art program really helped. I gave myself a timeline and was able to stick to it. I’m looking forward to being able to share pictures of my finished work with my faculty.”
Judy Iseke , director of Aboriginal Education and Services, explains that the new tipi, a durable dwelling used by Plains Cree and other peoples of this territory, is symbolic for the centre.
“For the Plains Cree and other peoples of this territory, the 14 poles that hold a tipi together represent keeping the family together, and living in harmony with one another and with all Creation around us in the circle of life. The purpose of raising a tipi outside the Aboriginal Education Centre is to share that same message.”