On Dec. 8, 2021, the City of Lacombe held a Treaty 6 Land Recognition Ceremony to commemorate a piece of artwork that will be displayed outside of council chambers.
After consulting with Elder Roy Louis of Maskwacis, artist Byron Samson, whose Cree name is Mistikonapew (miss-stick-ōh-nah-pay-yô), was commissioned by the city to create an artwork recognizing the significance of Treaty 6.
“The City of Lacombe is proud to display this vivid reminder of our long history with the indigenous communities with whomwe share this land,” said Lacombe Mayor, Grant Creasey. “On behalf of council, I would like to thank Mr. Samson for this contribution to our community. I hope that everyone who comes to city hall knows our community is committed to building and expanding meaningful, constructive relationships with all of our neighbours.”
The artwork includes images of seven chiefs, three government representatives and one interpreter and acknowledges that the community rests on Treaty 6 Lands, and the historic Indigenous travelling route called the Buffalo Trail, which passed through the Medicine Hills or Mahikan Wachisak (Wolf Hills) / Nisto Chaki Atinak (Three Pointed Hills), the City of Lacombe and central Alberta.
Recognizing these lands through the creation of this artwork acknowledges Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action No. 79 – Commemoration, to provide a continual reminder of the history of the land upon which Lacombe now resides.
Samson was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, and lives in Maskwacis where he grew up.
Ever since grade school, he has had an affinity for drawing. His teacher turned him towards realism during his senior year of high school. Samson signs his art with his given name Mistikonapew (miss-stick-ōh-nah-pay-yô), to honour his grandfather, who gave him his Cree name and supported his art.