“We steeped ourselves in the history and culture of Native Americans,” Shriver says, “and designed a medicine wheel for the canvas. Each direction has an element associated with it — mother earth, water, sky and fire.”
Tipi owner Kathleen Wallace asked that students include birds. “They are so free,” says Wallace. “Birds wind-dance.”
In a ceremony celebrating the finished painting, Jan Michael Looking Wolf, a Kalapuya Native, offered a flute song and blessing.
“We are one heart,” said the award-winning Native American flutist. “There is a place beyond all religions where everyone’s opinion is equally important. Diversity isn’t about everyone agreeing on things, but about agreeing that our hearts have the same significance.”