Painted by Philip Cote
(MFA, Young Spiritual Elder
Artist, Activist, Ancestral Knowledge Keeper, and Historian)
Funded and Supported by: City of Toronto Outdoor Mural Grant and the Bloordale BIA
"The ancestors called this time we are in “The Eighth Fire”, a time of our return back to the original knowledge of our ancestors. It’s said the bear would leave a trail for us to follow and that would help us remember our identity and purpose.
This will be a time of mingling of the western ways and the Indigenous ways and from this the new people will be born and they will change the world of man and mother earth will become balanced and in harmony again.
The Eighth Fire is a time to look to those original sources of knowledge. Where do we start? We start with the original family, the animal kingdom that is the source of much of our wisdom. What the Indigenous People call this knowledge is Land-based Pedagogy. Meaning that the wisdom of the land and animals from thousands of years of observation has accumulated from these experts, the animals. Original families wisdom was put into our ceremonies to help us stay close to nature where balance and harmony prevail to this day.
The Moose represents the wisdom of the forest and also the gentle teacher, a place where our young ones can learn.
Turtle represents Turtle Island and Truth.
Beaver represents Wisdom and the Earth.
Wolf represents Humility and Humanity.
Raven represents Honesty and the Sky.
Bear represents Bravery and the power of the North.
Eagle represents Love and the power of the South.
Buffalo represents Respect and the power in the West."
The Bloordale BIA and community are honoured to be given this incredible opportunity to work with Philip Cote.