Peel Trail: a dialogue between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples

Last updated December 19, 2023
Reading time: 2 min

“Our ways: Peel Trail” honours the presence of Iroquoian peoples on the island of Montréal. Bronze sculptures line the trail along Rue Peel. They invite us to reflect, and foster better understanding of different Indigenous and Non-indigenous cultures.

An audio and visual experience

The trail, called “Tsi niion kwarihò:ten” in Kanien’kehá:ka (the Mohawk language) provides a brief look into the island’s history since the arrival of the Europeans. You can listen to its accompanying podcast offered in English and French, via the free Portrait Sonore application available on Google Play and the App Store.

As you walk along the street, you discover the other components of this trail: mature trees that now benefit from enlarged planting pits and new trees tha are protected by tree grates decorated with designs used by the Iroquoian to mark their pottery.

Peel trail

Parcours Peel

The trail extends along the length from Rue Smith in the south, to Mount Royal Park in the north, includes:

  • 11 thematic stations
  • 2 bronze sculptures per station

See detailed trail.

Sculptures inspired by the Words Before All Else ceremony

The trail offers a dialogue between the work of two artists, one Kanien’kehá:ka, MC Snow, and the other non-indigenous, Kyra Revenko. The themes are inspired by the Kanien’kehá:ka ceremony of thanks, Words Before All Else. This ceremony is performed by an Elder to start important meetings. It consists of a series of thank-you messages, which honour each element that gives life and allows everyone to be together at that particular moment.

Archaeological discoveries were the impetus for creating the trail

Between 2016 and 2019, archaeological excavations in the Rue Peel and Rue Sherbrooke area uncovered remnants of an Iroquoian village dating from the 14th century. This important discovery was the inspiration for the trail.

A co-creation project

The trail was the result of a co-creation project carried out with the Kahnawà:ke band council, members of the Kahnawà:ke Mohawk community, urban design professionals, archaeologists and city representatives.

The project was made possible thanks to the following partners:

  • Artists MC Snow and Kyra Revenko (artwork design and sculpture)
  • Civiliti and FNX-Innov (urban design)
  • Générique Design (industrial design)
  • Ethnoscop (archaeological support)
  • Atelier du Bronze foundry
  • Portrait Sonore and Yändata’ (podcast)