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Maliseet legend adorns new school mural

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Grade 7 students at Edmundston’s Carrefour de la Jeunesse officially unveiled a multi-wall mural, June 21. For weeks, the students had worked with local artist Steve Rousselle on a design that spoke to local First Nation themes. The mural was completed in time for Canada’s National Aboriginal Day, June 21. The mural, located inside the main entrance of the school, depicts the legend of of Malobiannah, a young Maliseet woman who sacrificed herself to save her people during an Iroquois invasion. It is said that Malobiannah guided an invading war party to their death by taking them over Grand Falls on the St. John River. A section of the mural speaks to the portion of the legend that says Malabiannah’s face can sometimes be seen in the moon and that her singing is heard on the wind. Legend has it that she sang while she guided the invaders, so as to cover the sound of the approaching falls. Rousselle worked with students on the design and helped create the stencils, but the students did nearly all of the painting, he said. “We asked them what they wanted to do,” Rousselle said. “They wanted to represent the legend.” The mural also has an interpretive plaque, telling the story of Malobiannah.

EDMUNDSTON 06'21/2016 --  The new mural by students at Edmundston's  Carrefour de la Jeunesse depicts the legend of of Malobiannah, a  young Maliseet woman who sacrificed herself to save her people during an Iroquois invasion, by leading the invaders over Grand Falls.

EDMUNDSTON 06’21/2016 — The new mural by students at Edmundston’s Carrefour de la Jeunesse depicts the legend of of Malobiannah, a young Maliseet woman who sacrificed herself to save her people during an Iroquois invasion, by leading the invaders over Grand Falls.

Sebastien Berube, a Community and Cultural Development Officer who works with local schools and local First Nations groups spoke at the unveiling, commenting on the importance the legend has for local indigenous people and the history of the Madawaska region. Pier-Luc Cimon and Tiffany Dunphy, two First Nation students at the school also spoke at the unveiling. Dunphy said that it meant a lot to connect Maliseet history with the local school. She said it was also fun teaching others about her culture. More than 20 students worked on the project for two months, spending up to three hours a day on the project, often before classes started.

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