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London's First Artistically Interpreted Wampum Belt created by Indigenous Artist Nancy Deleary

Updated: Jul 10

London's first artistically interpreted Wampum Belt, Way of Life Bimaadziwin (pronunciation) – Tsi' niyóht tsi tyúnhe' (pronunciation) by Nancy Deleary was installed on the interior fireplace at East Lions Community Centre (1731 Churchill Ave, London On), and unveiled on June 27, 2024.


To celebrate, honour, and share Indigenous culture and history, the London Arts Council and the City of London Culture Services (Neighbourhood and Community-Wide Services), contracted Nancy Deleary, an established visual artist from the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation for this project. In honouring the Two Row Wampum approach, Nancy was selected through the Indigenous Assessment Panel process to create the Mural Project at East Lions Community Centre, which is located on the interior fireplace at the community centre.


Deleary’s artistic work for this project is based on the Dish with One Spoon Wampum. As a law used by Indigenous peoples, this Wampum holds significant meaning. This project is the first artistically interpreted Wampum Belt project in London, which highlights the significant meaning of the Agreement, visually demonstrating our commitment to the Indigenous communities and the City of London’s Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan, thus encouraging Londoners to reflect on and respect the Agreement within their daily lives.


The City of London’s Public Art and Monument Program facilitates the creation of public art in London, which bolsters civic pride, provides focal points for community celebration, creates meaningful employment for artists, and attracts tourism and investment.

This mural was created by the artist through the City’s Public Art and Monument Program, managed by the City’s Culture Services team and administered by the London Arts Council and Indigenous London Arts.

It is one of the first artworks to make up the City of London’s Permanent Indigenous Artwork Collection.

ABOUT THE MURAL: Way of Life Bimaadziwin – Tsi' niyóht tsi tyúnhe'

“The original makers of this land created objects out of necessity. Upon their objects they decorated images to relay messages that gave reverence to the relationships they maintained.


Colonization caused a great disruption in the life processes of the original peoples. They survived by keeping their ways and worldview hidden in the things they owned, bought, and made.


At first, anything with a native pattern was kept and displayed. In time, the people began making their own objects with representations of their beliefs and ceremonial life.


In this moment in time, the people of this land are sharing their ways so that all may be informed of a way of life that has existed on this land for thousands of years.


The Dish with One Spoon Wampum represents a significant law that the people of this territory of Southwestern Ontario uphold to this day. Learn about this Agreement by listening to Knowledge Holders and Chiefs of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee.”

Nancy Deleary, 2024

ABOUT THE ARTIST Nancy Deleary has been an artist all her life, influenced by the artists in her family growing up. She was recognized early by her community to have a gift to draw and design. This led her to a lifetime of researching her identity through ancestral works of art to be able to translate them into contemporary images. For Nancy, art is a communicative tool to transmit ideas and emotion. Her life has been a long journey of learning who she is as an Indigenous person of this land, and through her art she has the ability to share that. Through Nancy's interactions with viewers of her work, she learned that they can see and feel what she is addressing, and they come away learning something new about First Nations people.


June 27, 2024 Mural Unveiling Event photos:


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