Red Cliff youth help paint Chief Buffalo’s mural project

DULUTH, Minnesota — Children from the community of Red Cliff participated in the painting of the Chief Buffalo Mural Project at Gitchi-Ode’ Akiing Park today.

The project includes a maze of murals near the Lakewalk, hand-crafted by artists and members of the local community. Each wall tells the story of Chief Buffalo, while showcasing the Aboriginal community in a contemporary light.

The project’s lead coordinator, Moira Villiard, said “the goal of the project is to kind of standardize the telling of history through art. We have a lot of different periods of Indigenous history represented in this space as well as the story of Chief Buffalo.

Chief Buffalo was instrumental in implementing the 1854 treaty, which helped create multiple reservations and secured tribal hunting and fishing rights in the Lake Superior region.

Villiard went on to say, “I imagine in the future it would be cool if school groups came through here and we got a sign that actually talks about what this space is. So people will know that it’s not just about art here, there’s a whole story that weaves it all together.

The mural project is sponsored by the Duluth Indigenous Commission and the Zeitgeist Center for the Arts.

The original finish date for the mural was summer 2020, but was postponed due to Covid-19. Project coordinators say they now plan to have the mural painted by next month.

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