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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The streets of Fort St. John will be getting new banners featuring art from Doig River and Blueberry River artists.

The new street banners were unveiled on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Fort St. John Arts Council partnered with artists from Doig River First Nation and Blueberry River First Nation to showcase Indigenous-designed banners under the theme of “Where Happiness Dwells.”

Two banners were created by artists from Doig River First Nation, and Blueberry First Nation artists created two.

Both the theme and the finished designs needed to be approved by the elders of each nation.

(City of Fort St. John)

For the first time, there is Dane-zaa language on the banners, and the artists involved collaborated on the designs.

Fort St. John Arts Council president Rosemary Landry says she believes the money the artists collected from the designs are going towards language classes in their nations.

Landry says the FSJ Arts Council has a three-year contract with the city to create the banners, which change annually.

The arts council creates a theme by connecting with the community to see what kind of theme they would like.

Around November, they will put out a call for artists to come up with designs.

“The image must be very basic, almost like a kid’s crayon book. You can’t have a lot of detail in it,” she explained.

“And we also sort of keep an eye on which colours are going up because the colours can fade quite badly and others don’t.”

Once they get the design, the artists are paid a certain amount of money for four designs.

The council then works with a graphic design person to digitize the design and get it to the banner company located in Vancouver.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.