ohkoi'sski

About the Mural

This mural was made possible through funds supplied by the Embrace the Outdoors grant offered through Parks Foundation Calgary and the City of Calgary.

 

Ohkoi’sski

Ohkoi’sski is the Blackfoot word for track.

 

Track /trak/ noun

a mark or line of marks left by a person, animal, or vehicle in passing.

 

Former Innisfail residents, Ryan Jason Allen Willert (Siksika Nation) and Karen Scarlett (4th generation Alberta settler) collaborated to create this mural on the East side of the Alexandra Centre Society building in Inglewood. 

The mural has two separate but connected pieces. 

 

First, the mural on the wall depicts eagle feathers, animal tracks and the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers. Both artists felt the symbolism in the mural mattered most. 

The eagle feather is the feather of a golden eagle that has lost his spots and is now an adult eagle.

Animal tracks were chosen as an inspiration to be active. As the artists worked together on the mural they discussed how our community has become separated through colonialism and racism. The animal tracks represent life before Settler and Indigenous cultures became divided.

The red river is a symbol of life's blood and shows the confluence of the Elbow and Bow rivers. This is an important and special place in Calgary both physically and spiritually. It also depicts our cultures coming together.

 

The second part of the mural is our fun hopscotch game on the sidewalk in front of the mural. 

 

Ryan and Karen had originally designed the hopscotch game to incorporate animal and human tracks but when they were on site painting, they decided that the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada was just a few days away and they needed to create a special moment to honour all of the lives affected by the Residential Schools. The artists chose to use small childrens footprints in orange as a tribute to them and create a place where families could have conversation around truth and reconciliation.

 

As we move through the world, we leave our trace... our essence … our Ohkoi’sski.

 

PLAY OUR GAMES

 

Find the Ohkoi’sski

Find the tracks on the mural and which ones were made by these Alberta animals: 

(hint, there are only four correct answers)

 

Áápomahkihkinaa.. (Mountain goat)

Omahkatayo….... (mountain lion)

Kiááyo…………. (bear)

Ponoká……… (elk)  

Áwákaasii………... (deer)

Omahkai’stoo….. (raven)

Iiníí………… (bison)

Makóyi….………... (wolf)

Ksísskstaki....... (beaver)

Míísinsski………... (badger)

 

Ohkoi’sski Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a popular game played around the world. There are various rules/versions. 

You can make up your own rules or find all kinds of information about hopscotch here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch

 

Most importantly, get hopping and having fun!

 

The Artists

 

Ryan Jason Allen Willert         instagram.com/stonegrowth

Ryan Jason Allen Willert is a professional artist and muralist living in Red Deer, Alberta. 

 

Ryan was born and raised in Southern Alberta. Although he was brought up in a non-Indigenous community, he has since reconnected with his Blackfoot roots (Siksika Nation) carrying many titles. Ryan learned the art of black ink drawing and sales from his father Richard (Dicky) Stimson, another artist from the Siksika Nation; and continues to grow as a traditional Blackfoot artist. 

 

You can see Ryans murals and commissions across Alberta and around the world.

 

Karen Scarlett karenscarlett.com

Karen Scarlett grew up fourth-generation on the family dairy farm west of Innisfail, Alberta. She has made art her entire life.

 

Karen has been inspired by the people, places, flora and fauna that have surrounded her throughout her life.You could call her a self taught artist although she will tell you she learns from everyone around her and loves to create, share and teach what she has learned.

 

Karen lives in Calgary, Alberta where she works from her studio. You can find her work in public, corporate and private collections in Alberta and around the world.