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CommunityJul 19, 2022

Alan Syliboy brings “Tufts Cove Survivor” to Halifax Harbour Waterfront.

"...the Mi’kmaq community was not rebuilt. The survivors were moved to reservations away from their home."

We are proud to have sponsored Alan Syliboy to bring his artwork to a prominent location near the Halifax Harbour in celebration of the Halifax Mural Festival. Alan’s painting, “Tufts Cove Survivor” tells the story of the Halifax explosion and the devastating aftermath for the inhabitants of Turtle Grove, the Mi’kmaq settlement on the Dartmouth side of the Harbour. The mural is located on the back side of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic located on the Halifax Waterfront.

Alan has provided the following explanation of his artwork:

My painting “Tufts Cove Survivor” was painted in 2009 commemorating the Mi’kmaq settlement, known as Turtle Grove, located on the Dartmouth side of the Halifax harbour. Turtle Grove was destroyed by the Halifax Explosion which occurred on December 6, 1917. This painting is now a part of a permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

Half of the Mi’kmaq inhabitants were killed outright. All affected communities were rebuilt including the Black community, but the Mi’kmaq community was not rebuilt.  The survivors were moved to reservations away from their home. From then on they became tenants, rather than land owners.

My Grandmother, Rachael Marshall, was a little girl at the time of the Halifax Explosion. She lived in Millbrook, 60 miles from the disaster. The ground shook as she was outside coasting in the snow. She knew something major had happened. She recalled that very soon train loads of wounded came to Truro for medical attention.

Jerry Lonecloud and his family lived on the harbour shore at Turtle Grove – Tufts Cove. Jerry was not home at the time of explosion but he lost two of his daughters in the blast.

William Prosper is circled in red on this painting. He was the last living member of that community, who I refer to as the “Tufts Cove Survivor”.

We also worked with Alan on designing some variations on our logo to mesh with his artwork. The first logo is similar to our corporate logo, but the circles that typically appear in the 3 squares are replaced with teepees taken from Alan’s other works and used with his permission. The second logo was created by Alan. It uses Mi’kmaw motifs and petroglyphs, in addition to a translation of “Injury and Insurance Law” to “Law for how you’ve been injured” in Mi’kmaw.

Alan’s mural will be mounted year-round for the public to enjoy.

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