"This mural depicting Salmon swimming upstream represents the Salmon run in my home community, Nadleh Whut’en. In my Dakelh language, Nadleh Whut’en translates to the place where the salmon return.
Every summer, the Salmon swim through the river that goes through our community. Although this is one of the smallest rivers in North America, we have a rich abundance of salmon. When the Salmon come to visit, we fish until everyone in the community has food enough to last the winter. In our traditional way, the one who gives the most Salmon away is considered to be the wealthiest person. This is in contrast to the typical understanding of wealth as the accumulation of goods. In Nadleh, our wealth is shown by sharing our abundance so that everyone in our community can live well. This is what I was taught by my Elders is the purpose or meaning of life. To find our gifts and use it to help the people.
Whether it’s giving away fish to Elders, or lending a listening ear, we all have gifts we can use to help those around us. My intention with this artwork is that those who experience the mural will be inspired to use their gifts to help others in their community. Just as we Nadleh Whut’en share our salmon." - Randall Bear Barnetson
More about the Artist
This mural will be cared for by the Purpose Society. The intended lifespan of the mural is five years (2023-2028).
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