Artist rendering of reconciliation sculpture. Photo courtesy Saskatoon Tribal Council

Saskatoon city council has approved the location of a piece of artwork that will commemorate the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action on Aboriginal issues.

Victoria Park was chosen by council at its meeting Monday.

The statue has been commissioned by the Saskatoon Tribal Council and the city of Saskatoon as a response to the federal government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action on educating and creating a sense of shared awakening.

In a prepared statement, STC Chief Felix Thomas said the project is something that can be shared with the entire community.

“The ‘Where Our Paths Cross’ project is not just the Saskatoon Tribal Council’s call to action, it’s our partners’ too,” said Thomas.

The Saskatoon Tribal Council and city commissioned the artwork with funding from the Government of Canada, which will be done by well-known artist Gordon Reeve. Reeve has works on public display across Canada, and his experience in Aboriginal art and engagement includes a Chatham, Ontario sculpture, which is a tribute to the Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh.

Reeve’s concept for “Where Our Paths Cross” is a burnished, stainless steel sculpture that will reflect the sun and the moon. It is designed to reach 35 feet high at its highest point, 27 feet to the top of the arch, and 20 feet wide at inside ground level. A longer pole, pointing north, will represent the First Nations long history. A shorter pole, pointing south, represents Métis history. Both are anchored in the earth.  The crossing of the poles signifies the crossing of their paths high above all, as in the distant past.

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said the sculpture will be symbolic of the roots of our community in the First Nations and Métis culture that intersect with all who have moved here since. He said the artwork is a testament to our shared history and our shared future.

The statue will be installed in the spring of 2018.