The portrait of Mi’kmaw editor, author and activist Elder Daniel Paul, painted by the acclaimed Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy, now hangs in the Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building at Dalhousie.
While at a book launch event for the fourth edition of Elder Paul’s groundbreaking work We Were Not the Savages, hosted by the University of King’s College and the King’s Co-op Bookstore on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation of last year, several Dal Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) faculty members learned of Elder Paul’s terminal cancer diagnosis.
In response, FASS decided to raise funds through a fundraising campaign hosted on ProjectDAL, Dalhousie’s peer-to-peer crowdfunding platform, to commission a portrait by Alan Syliboy to specifically recognize Elder Paul’s contributions as a Mi’kmaw historian and honour his legacy. In less than a week, the campaign’s goal was met, and the portrait was completed last spring.
Recommended reading: Influential Mi’kmaw historian honoured with special Dal-commission portrait
FASS hosted a small reception in the Dean’s Office last May to unveil the portrait to Elder Paul, before his passing in June.
Looking forward to the 2023 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this Saturday, September 30, FASS hosted an event earlier this week to celebrate Elder Paul and officially display the portrait, along with an explanatory plaque, in a central, accessible space in the Arts and Social Sciences building. The event welcomed donors that supported the fundraising campaign, friends and family of Elder Paul, and members of the Dalhousie community.
Photos by Nick Pearce