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Indigenous art adorns GRT bus for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation3 min read

Oct 2, 2023 2 min

Indigenous art adorns GRT bus for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation3 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A special bus wrap and mural was unveiled Sept. 30, 2023 in commemoration of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The indigenous artwork is by Tsista Kennedy, an Anishinaabe Onyota’a:ka artist from Southern Ontario.

Kennedy’s art uses symbolism to connect the story of the bison with that of Indigenous People.

“In learning the history of the bison in post-contact North America, I have come to understand that their story of resiliency is no different than ours as Indigenous People,” said Kennedy.

“Additionally, I chose to include an eagle; reminding us of healthy leadership. On the eagle’s wings rest the present and future generations of us as Indigenous peoples. We must never forget to consider and provide for the coming faces as we navigate the journey of Reconciliation.”

Learn more about Tsista and his artwork at hotdogwaterart.com

The special bus offered mobility assistance at the Every Child Matters walk on Sept. 30, which started outside of Healing of the Seven Generations at 300 Frederick St in Kitchener. This walk was one of several events around Waterloo Region to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The community can now spot this unique orange GRT bus as it travels major transit routes.

A mural of Kennedy’s artwork is also on display at the GRT Customer Service Centre on King St. and Benton St. in downtown Kitchener.

Additionally, artwork by Luke Swinson, an artist of Anishinaabe descent from Kitchener and a member of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, will be shared by local municipalities on social media:

Artwork showing a hand holding a feather with words "National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: September 30, 2023."

The art, bus wrap, and mural are being shared as part of the Reconciliation Action Partnership (RAP).

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.