City Art Program Selects Artwork Honoring Children Lost in Residential Schools –

A Métis artist from Fort Saskatchewan is happy to have her work exhibited for public enjoyment.

Angela Hebert was the selected adult visual artist for 2022 in Fort Saskatchewan’s Art in Public Places program. Her piece, Angels Among Us, is a beadwork on deer hide that she began following 215 unmarked graves discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the summer of 2021.

She had no set process when creating the image and instead let the leather tell her what to do as she weaved glass beads and porcupine quills through the skin. The piece took nearly nine weeks to create, with 6-10 hour days.

“The picture that came [was] a mother and her two children who are not with her, but they are angels, so they will always stand by her side,” Hebert explained.

Hebert, an educational assistant with the Edmonton Public School Board, learned about the Art in Public Places program through a colleague who encouraged her to submit her work. She had to read the congratulatory letter several times before realizing she had been selected.

“It was a huge honor, honestly. I walked in, not even thinking I would be considered.

She is happy that audiences will enjoy the play and hopes it will spark thoughts and reflections for those who see it. She believes having it displayed will help bring more attention to the residential school tragedy.

“I think it’s important for people to realize that we’ve lost a lot of babies, a lot of families have been destroyed, and I just wanted to shed some more light on that.”

The Art in Public Spaces Gallery is located between Lion’s Mane and the Fort Saskatchewan Pottery Guild studio in the Dow Centennial Centre.

Kayleen C. Rice