Discover Indigenous art on transit

Discover Indigenous art on transit

A graphic with the text saying National Indigenous History Month

Take a look around Metro Vancouver’s transit system and you’ll find some amazing Indigenous art installations at various stations across the region. In honour of National Indigenous History Month, we’re shedding light on their significance to Indigenous communities.

We are grateful to the Indigenous artists we have worked with for choosing TransLink as their platform to share this incredible work.

Check out the following list and make note of which ones you have already come across, and which you still need to visit!

The Burrard Chinook SeaBus

In 2021, the Burrard Chinook SeaBus sailed its maiden voyage across the Burrard Inlet, which is on the traditional and unceded territories of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (the Musqueam Indian Band),  Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw (the Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ, (the Tsleil-Waututh Nation).

Local Indigenous artists Kelly Cannell, Siobhan Joseph, and Angela George designed the art that wraps the vessel. The Chinook salmon design captures the significant role this food source played in providing the West Coast for generations. It also illustrates its integral role to the ecosystem in the Inlet and the Pacific Ocean.

The Sea Captain at Surrey Central Station

If you have been to Surrey Central Station, chances are you will have seen a wooden sculpture called The Sea Captain, which was created by Marianne Nicolson with John Livingston. It was installed in 2019. The Sea Captain conveys the story of travel, immigration and connection to the coast and how First Nations envisioned peaceful and reciprocal interactions with newcomers.

Customers enter the station with The Sea Captain at Surrey Central Station

Rule of the Trees at Commercial-Broadway Station

Artist Tania Willard, of Secwépemc Nation, created Rule of the Trees at Commercial–Broadway Station. Rule of the Trees examines the memories stored in tree rings, the interconnectedness of tree root systems, and the ways in which our own lives are filled with memories, connections, and journeys.

Rule of the Trees is a work that acts as a reminder of the Indigenous lands beneath our feet. The Douglas fir, hemlock, and cedar forests covered this area and how our impact now affects those lives and balances,” said Tania in a 2019 interview with The Buzzer.

Rule of the Trees at Commercial-Broadway Station

Various Works by kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation artists at Coquitlam Central Station

The cultural pieces at Coquitlam Central Station have been designed with an educational component to give visitors the opportunity to learn about the Kwikwetlem people. They include a traditional river canoe displayed from the station concourse ceiling, an etched glass panel, a welcome panel at the south escalators, and six original prints that have been installed as transparent window decals on the glazing panels:

  • Our Foundations by Maynard Johnny Jr.
  • Navigating the Future: Canoe by Mark Point
  • Welcome Panel by Kwikwetlem First Nation
  • Navigating the Future: Etched Glass Panel by Kwikwetlem First Nation

Kwikwetlem art at Coquitlam Central Station

The Kwikwetlem Traditional River Canoe at Coquitlam Central Station
Photo: B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure