Murals Posts

Selective Focus: The Chief Buffalo Memorial Mural

The Chief Buffalo Mural Project is a collaboration between project manager and artist Moira Villiard alongside lead artists Michelle Defoe, Awanagiizhik Bruce, and Sylvia Houle, the Duluth Indigenous Commission, Zeitgeist Center for Arts, American Indian Movement Twin Ports Support Group, and descendants of Chief Buffalo.

An unveiling of the project is scheduled in Gichi-ode’ Akiing (formerly Lake Place Park) along the Duluth Lakewalk from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, complete with food and an opportunity to meet the artists.

We’ve asked Villiard to share more about the project:

Duluth’s First Public Mural by and for Indigenous Artists

Artist Votan Ik of NSRGNTS stands before the nearly completed mural.

To me, it’s rather astounding to think that Duluth has been without indigenous representation for this long. I imagine people from all over the world have been visiting Duluth as tourists and have only gotten to see one side of this place, unaware of the precolonial history that it’s tied to. This mural is a long-awaited step toward reaffirming our presence as indigenous people. It’s unapologetically native — an unmistakable vision that grew into fruition along the stretch of West Second Street, firmly declaring the presence of a people long pushed to the side from mainstream narratives.

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