Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Creation Story Mural

"The turtle carries stories, it carries history, it symbolizes our strength."

Andrew Wesley, community elder and residential school survivor

The mural project is connected to the Centre’s Spirit Garden Project which will open at Nathan Philips Square in 2023. The 19,250 square foot Indigenous cultural space will honour our Residential School Survivors and our cultural traditions.

The Creation Story mural is funded in part by Canadian Heritage under its Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools program and the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) under its Animating the Streets program. The mural will be a part of ArtworTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022.
The upper wall on the Parliament Street side of the building will come alive with clan symbols and creation stories painted in the vibrant colours that artist Phil Cote uses to enhance the visibility of the dynamic Indigenous cosmology. As with the Spirit Garden, the tableaux will feature the Turtle, “Our Mother.” The Mural Project also includes a plan to place a fourty foot by two foot LED sign at the top of the mural along the roof’s edge. The sign will interact with the artwork by providing descriptions of elements from the work and the Creation Story. The moving messages will also use text and graphics to support Council Fire and community programming initiatives.

Young Spiritual Elder, Artist, Activist, Historian and Traditional Wisdom Keeper from Moose Deer Point First Nation. His First Nations Affiliations are Shawnee, Lakota, Potawatomi, Ojibway, Algonquin, and Mohawk.
A graduate of OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Art Media and Design Masters program in 2015, Cote has been exploring new ways to imbue sculpture and painting through oral traditions of storytelling and with traditional spiritual perspectives.