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First Nations: Wolastokqiyik (Maliseet)

31.1 x 3 mtr (102 x 10 ft) First design as submitted by artist. The Mi’kmaq settled in the Maritime region about 2500 years ago. They shared what is now New Brunswick with the Wolastokqiyik (Maliseet), who settled along the Saint John River. The Wolastokqiyik made extensive use of this river system to travel, hunt and fish. It is said that they would cover amazing distances by portaging in their canoes. Unlike the Mi’kmaq, who often moved their camps, the Wolastokqiyik built permanent villages. Here they grew corn, beans and squash. Their closest encampment was in Apohaqui, a neighbouring village of Sussex. Charles’ mural shows the creation mythology of the people, with the powerful figure of Glooscap, who dominates the origins of the Maliseet. On the right side of the mural the Creator pours the Saint John River out of a traditional coil-built clay vessel that resembles the map of New Brunswick. Along the river, people interact harmoniously with the natural elements of the river environment. The artist: Charles Johnston – a full time muralist – received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1984. He is primarily engaged in the practice of creating public art, and has been for almost twenty years. He finds the act of creating public art to be uniquely different from the act of creating personal works for the reason that it engages a larger dialogue between the artist and the community. His work also includes graphic design and sculptures.


  • 46 Magnolia Avenue (Rear)
    Sussex, N.B
    E4E 2H2