How one Indigenous artist is reminding us of the beauty in connecting to each other and the land
(Above) Three TELUS fleet vehicles in northern Alberta have been wrapped with this artwork by Trevor Snook, which depicts the beauty of our natural landscapes and the importance of the connections we have to the land and to each other.
This beautiful artwork by Mi’kmaq artist Trevor Snook of the Qalipu First Nation now adorns three TELUS fleet vehicles in northern Alberta, sharing a story of connection and gratitude for each other and the land we live upon.
This is the latest collaboration between TELUS and Indigenous artists through the TELUS fleet branding program, which seeks to build deeper relationships with Indigenous communities by elevating their experiences, stories and talent.
Trevor is the seventh artist to participate in this program. Read on to learn more about him, the rich and diverse Indigenous connections to the land depicted in his artwork, and the bright hope he holds for future generations.
You can explore TELUS’ reconciliation commitments and see the quantifiable progress we have made toward achieving our goals in our Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan. You’ll also find incredible success stories of how Indigenous entrepreneurs, leaders and youth are driving lasting, positive outcomes in their communities.
Fibres of our Connection by Trevor Snook, Mi’kmaq from the Qalipu First Nation
Fibres of our Connection by Trevor Snook.
This piece is a representation of our Indigenous connection to the lands that have sustained us. It is the fibres of our existence. Our peoples have walked and utilized these lands since the beginning of time, passing down the way of life, our teachings and culture. Indigenous people use these lands to feed, clothe and sustain their people.
The piece contains images of geese, moose, fish, as these feed us. I have added some trees, grasses, weeds and bushes, which make our medicines. There is a father teaching his kid how to fish.
Without water, we have no life. The Tipi represent our traditional ways of living, “Simple and meaningful.” Our creator has given us exactly what we need to survive.
The young drummer symbolizes the heartbeat of our future! The young drummer is wearing a hoodie with the silhouette of a wolf head. The wolf in Indigenous culture has many meanings, but they are all based around power, leadership and loyalty. He will protect and watch over this land for many years to come and ensure there are more young heartbeats to follow from future generations.
This young drummer at a very young age stands with his older brother and father to drum at various ceremonies and celebrations with several other drummers in our communities. He is not bothered by the other kids playing around him. He stands strong, beating his drum so others can hear his heartbeat. He is the fibre that will keep us connected to the land!
Trevor Snook’s deep appreciation for our relationship to the flora and fauna around us was encouraged early on by his father.
I have been sketching and drawing since I was a youth. Over the years, I practiced with oil and acrylic paint on various mediums and have been able to incorporate my artwork through my love for crafting. I have been exploring the use of different mediums and styles of painting from paint on canvas, rawhide and birch bark, to airbrushing on motorcycles, helmets, hardhats and hide moose calls.
I gain a lot of my inspiration from nature. I find beauty in objects and materials, as I am an artist that does not believe in wasting. I spent a huge portion of my life enjoying nature from hunting, fishing and respecting nature from my father. My dad always taught me to take what I need, leave for tomorrow and think of others. I learned to create moose calls from my hide and in turn have been teaching others this craft since.
My wife, Misty Preshyon-Snook, works at Athabasca Tribal Council in Fort McMurray. They have opened the door for me to grow as an Indigenous artist and provide my teachings at cultural festivals, make connections, and in turn teach Indigenous children in schools as well.
My biggest critics are my mother, Jacqueline Snook, and mother-in-law, Christine Preshyon, as they know my capabilities and always encourage me to dig deeper, think larger and expand. As an Indigenous artist, there is no greater accomplishment than seeing someone admire a piece of artwork that you worked so hard on and created.
I have brought tears of joy to family, strangers, and friends over the years with memorial pieces of their loved ones; from personalized paintings, stretches or airbrushing pieces.
It is an honour to bring some happiness to an individual that is suffering from a loss. When I paint, I completely lose track of time, as if I drift into the piece and become its spirit.
TELUS' commitment to artistic integrity
We are committed to supporting the artistic practices of Indigenous Peoples, while being mindful of the historic role organizations have played in the misappropriation of Indigenous art and culture. We have an obligation and responsibility to ensure that TELUS’ use of Indigenous art in our digital and physical spaces is respectful of Indigenous artists. TELUS works with each artist to ensure that they retain full intellectual property and control over their work.
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