“No treaty ever gave this territory to European settlers.”
If this is true, why doesn’t the school just give the land back? Virtue signaling does nothing.
Bangor Daily News reports:
New mural acknowledges a Maine university sits on stolen land
The city sits on unceded Wabanaki land. No treaty ever gave this territory to European settlers.
That fact was recently acknowledged in a preamble passage added to Portland’s city charter in 2022.
Now, the University of Southern Maine is giving a small nod to the same truth, funding a wall-sized mural created by Maine Mi’kmaq artist and alumna Marissa Joly.
The vibrant design is in an upstairs atrium inside USM’s gleaming, new McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success. Joly is finishing the mural this week. The building will officially open in September.
Joly, 25, grew up in Auburn and earned an art degree from USM in 2021. She is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation, whose tribal land sits on the Restigouche River in Quebec. She won the roughly $10,000 commission to create the mural in the spring after submitting a proposal in response to a call for art ideas.
Joly’s design features a large, purple turtle swimming through stylized, azure waves dotted with lighter blue bubbles. On the animal’s back is a circular medicine wheel, decorated with looping symbols.
The graceful curlicues represent secret designs invented by Native American children sent away to abusive boarding schools in Maine and all across North America.
“The turtle represents the land. In traditional creation stories, North America is considered Turtle Island — the Dawn Land,” Joly said, taking a break from painting on Monday.
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