VIDEO: ‘Mr. Beaver’s Design is Extraordinary’: ‘Coho Homing’ Artwork Unveiled and Celebrated in Port Hope

Rick Beaver, a Michi Saagiig artist and environmentalist from Alderville First Nation, and Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson recently celebrated the unveiling of ‘Coho Homing’ at the Jack Burger Sports Complex.
  • 'Coho Homing' is an original design/piece by Rick Beaver, a Michi Saagiig artist and conservationist from Alderville First Nation, depicting the return of coho salmon to the Ganaraska River.  It is now presented at the Jack Burger Sports Complex.

Area residents, dignitaries and more recently gathered at the Jack Burger Sports Complex in Port Hope to celebrate the official unveiling of ‘Coho Homing’ – an original artwork by Rick Beaver, a Michi Saagiig artist and conservationist from Alderville First Nation.

Beaver’s piece is now on full display at the complex – the unveiling coinciding with National Indigenous History Month – and will continue to be featured at the complex for next year, where residents and visitors are encouraged to s stop and see the play.

“Coho Homing” depicts the migration of salmon and tells the story of the first inhabitants of the north shore of Lake Ontario, it has been explained.

Additionally, his artwork is also featured on the cover of the Port Hope Local Experience Guide for the 2022 tourist season – and more can be heard and read as Beaver shares more online in his own words. .

“Mr. Beaver’s design is extraordinary, and we are very fortunate to feature his work in our facilities and in our tour guide,” said Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson. “Collaborations of this nature are what make our special community.

“It tells the origin story of our community through art and shares that message with residents and visitors. (We extend) special thanks to Mr. Beaver for sharing his time and talents with us.

Earlier in June, council members, city staff and residents gathered at the complex for the official unveiling of “Coho Homing”.

“The design represents the return of the coho salmon to the Ganaraska River – an event that captures the hearts and imaginations of so many people in the region and beyond,” Beaver explained. “Historically the species would have been the Atlantic salmon – but they too are making a comeback with the help of mankind.

“In the past, the Michi Saagiig (“Great River Mouth”) peoples would have gathered to respond to salmon returning to their natal streams to spawn.

“Fishing was an integral part of people’s way of life and livelihood,” Beaver said. “You can see the presence of people in the whirlwind of the rapids when the salmon come up.

“It reminds us of the relationship of all things…people to the lands and waters and all life in and on.”

Through the Local Experience Guide, Beaver also shares the history of the land, its First Peoples and the history of the landscape in this region, it was explained. On the Port Hope Tourism site, residents can click on the Local Experience Guide tab to learn more, then click on the Listen tab to learn more about Beaver.

The unveiling of this work is also part of National Aboriginal History Month in Canada. “During this month, we take the time to honor the heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada,” the municipality said, adding that this work of art brings together the history of the local community and highlights the importance of local land and natural resources. .