Nanum ‘Iyus Tth’ele Festival Of Murals

Along with other community partners, CIS has come together to help form "Nanum‘Iyus Tth’ele" (Meeting of Joyful Hearts).

The First mural explores themes that include the past, present, and future of reconciliation reframed in Hul’q’umi’num’ as ‘thu-itsthuw tun shqwaluwun’
(be truthful with your feelings)

“During the pandemic, we all worked together to install bilingual Hul’q’umi’num’ and English street signs on seven streets in the downtown core as an example of reconciliation in action,” explains Amanda Vance, Executive Director of the Cowichan Intercultural Society. “That project was an act of solidarity in response to news that some businesses were refusing to serve Cowichan members due to Covid-19 cases on reserve. We hope that this new project will further increase the comfort of Cowichan Tribes members in downtown Duncan.”

The Nanum ‘Iyus Tth’ele mural project came together as partners in the Hul’q’umi’num’ Signage Project went on walks together through downtown.

“I remember the first time the group of Elders working on this project walked around town with us sharing stories of places where they were segregated, others that were unwelcoming, and those that still are unwelcoming. Then they began to speak about their hope for the future and the importance of us working together to build that future. The murals reflect that hope for the future and our commitment to building it together,” stated City of Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples.

Nanum ‘Iyus Tth’ele Quw’utsun Festival of Murals Announces Installation of Second Mural “SQ’UQ’IPTUL’ (Journey Together)”

Nanum ‘Iyus Tth’ele Mural Committee is pleased to announce a second mural installation on the east-facing wall of 149 Kenneth Street, the Volume One Books building, in downtown Duncan

About the Artist- Stuart Pagaduan

Stuart Pagaduan is a local Cowichan Tribes member and active community advocate for Cowichan teachings and language. Stuart has spent most of his life living as an inspirational Coast Salish Artist, while using his creative flow to build bridges between the Cowichan People and the larger Cowichan Valley community. He also creates a lot of imagery used within many schools and classrooms that help enhance student learning of Hul’q’umi’num’. Stuart works in a variety of mediums and has works around the world and continues to bring modern style to the Coast Salish Arts. Stuart was fortunate enough to be raised by his grandparents, late Ben & Violet George. They shaped and guided him to be the speaker and leader he is today. When Stuart is not creating art images or working on other major projects’ he is teaching for the Cowichan Valley School District as a Cultural and Language Teacher in various schools. Stuart is also serving his third term as a Elected Council member of Cowichan Tribes.

“SQ’UQ’IPTUL’ (Journey Together)”

"The number of paddlers is four, a sacred number to the Quw’utsun people that is reflected in the balance of nature and seasons. Work together as one and continue to respect all living things great and small. No one is more or less than, we all work together and have different gifts to share."
Read the Complete Artist Statement

About the Artist- Charlene Johnny

Charlene Johnny is a Coast Salish artist from the Quw’utsun Tribes of Duncan, B.C. residing on the unceded territory of her relatives the xwməθkwəy̓ əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations. She began her career in 2012 when she won two artist grants from the YVR Art Foundation working with business, graphic design, photography, glass, and textiles. She has apprenticed under well-known artists and has formal art training from Native Education College. She graduated from the silver and copper carving program in 2018. She became a full time artist in 2020, with her main practice in graphic design and mural art. With her interdisciplinary approach to art, she will continue to work in various mediums to explore and express her ancestral artwork through a number of contemporary ways.

‘thu-itsthuw tun shqwaluwun’
(Be Truthful With Your Feelings)

"What is key in our future moving together into the future, is to care for mother earth. So even though this element is meant to be subtle, it ties in the theme of the past, the present and the future and the teaching of Nanum’Iyus Tth’ele, a meeting of happy hearts"
Read the Complete Artist Statement

Want to get involved?

Completed Artist applications with attached portfolio, and Property owner forms can be sent to