Canada photography

Victoria, British Columbia First Nations murals surround toxic waste site

Yesterday, on Earth Day, I walked through downtown Victoria, British Columbia along Government Street to Enterprise Rental Car. There were First Nations murals on the west side of the street along a long fence. The colors and imagery were intense and I crossed the street to have a closer look at the murals.

First Nations is the term used in Canada for people we call Native Americans in the USA.

First Nations murals 

The vibrant colors of these murals appealed to me. I photographed many of the images.

Victoria FN-1    Victoria FN-2


Victoria FN-3    Victoria FN-4

Victoria FN-5   Victoria FN-6

When I travel I snap photos and then research what I saw. It only took a couple of minutes to find the story behind these murals.

Victoria, British Columbia First Nations murals surround toxic waste site

The murals were unveiled in February 2015. The fence surrounds Rock Bay, the dump site for a coal gasification industrial facility from 1862 to 1952. Rock Bay is considered one of the primary toxic waste sites on Vancouver Island. The site has been an 11 year cleanup project costing $138 million to decontaminate 17 acres of soil and harbor seabed. The project is scheduled to be completed in November 2015.

Once the cleanup is completed, about four acres of land will be sold to the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

Not a single piece of graffiti defaced any of these murals after two months. Perhaps the artists who periodically repaint the Berlin Wall should paint a replica to be kept in Canada.

Victoria FN-7   Victoria FN-8

Victoria FN-9       Victoria FN-13

Victoria FN-11   Victoria FN-12

      Victoria FN-10     Victoria FN-14

Murals based on the designs of Butch Dick and Darlene Gait – See more at: