00 Turtle Rock Effigy Ester Malzahn -- IMG_7145

Turtle Rock Effigy, 2012

Location: Louise McKinney Riverfront Park (enter main park gates, turn north, and follow walking path)



Walk the labyrinth starting at the tail of the turtle. The path takes you through the turtle to the centre of the circle and, in the process, you will face the four corners. Ask yourself a question before entering, and the meditative path may provide answers for you.


Artist Statement: “For thousands of years both First Nations and European peoples have been making rock Effigies. Many Turtle Rock Effigies exist across North America since the turtle is a symbol of Mother Earth for many First Nations People. This rock effigy is purposely designed to combine a First Nations turtle rock effigy with a Celtic Labyrinth path on its back, as a symbolic representation of the bringing together of the First Nations and European cultures on the back of Turtle Island (North America). This rock effigy represents the important historical relationship of First Nations and European peoples. In this day and age it is important to share, live, and join together in a good manner on this beautiful land that we all inhabit.” – Leah Dorion


Biography: Leah Marie Dorion is an interdisciplinary Métis artist raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. A teacher, painter, filmmaker and published writer, Leah views her Metis heritage as providing her with a unique bridge for knowledge between all people. Leah earned  Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts, and Masters of Arts degrees. She has numerous creative projects to her credit, including academic papers for the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, books for children, gallery showings of her artwork, and numerous video documentaries that showcase Metis culture and history. Leah’s paintings honour the spiritual strength of Aboriginal women and the sacred feminine. Her belief that women play a key role in passing on vital knowledge to all of humanity is deeply reflected in her artistic practice. She believes women are the first teachers to the next generation.


Produced by: The Places – Art & Design in Public Places Program

Sponsoring Partners: The Works Art & Design Festival; The Places – Art & Design in Public Places Program

Supporter: Mixcor Aggregates

Media: Rocks of various sizes

Sources: The Places – Art in Design in Public Places, Leah DorionPlaces Tour — The Works

Photo Credit: Ester Malzahn