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TOTAL Aboriginal Interpretive Trail open

Last Updated Sep 29, 2016 at 10:56 am MDT

The new TOTAL Aboriginal Interpretive Trail at MacIsland. Jenna Hamilton/ REPORTER

The TOTAL Aboriginal Interpretive Trail down at MacDonald Island is officially open.

The trail, which runs between C.A. Knight Way and the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers is lined with seven public art installations, that have been inspired by the Aboriginal Teachings that represent the spiritual principles and fundamental connection of the Indigenous people and mother earth.

The teachings that were selected for the project are: Honesty, love, humility, courage, truth, wisdom and respect.

“The seven sacred teachings are what I hold within my studio, values that I hold in my paintings. That’s the reason why I decided to participate in this amazing art project. The value that I narrowed in on is courage, sky spirit courage of mother bear,” said one of the artist, part of the Sacred Teachings Project, Heather Shillinglaw.

Three of the art pieces placed on this trail were created by Aboriginal artists from the Wood Buffalo region and the remaining four are from artist throughout Western Canada.

Many community members spoke of the significance this trail has, not only to the history of the Aboriginal People and the land but what it means to our community.

“Today we are celebrating an incredible part of Wood Buffalo, the importance I think of recognizing not only the art that is part of this trail and the history that is here before us, but the ability to come together as one community,” said Mayor Melissa Blake.

There are also 28 red foxes that line the interpretive trail, that were hand painted by local artist and students from the region.

The Miquwahkesis project was created to celebrate the red fox, which has become one of the best known animal residents of MacDonald Island Park.

One of the 28 foxes that line the interpretive trail, as part of the Miquwahkesis Project.
One of the 28 foxes that line the interpretive trail, as part of the Miquwahkesis Project.