Mural with scaffolding (June 2019). Image by Deanna Reder

Indigenous Studies

Removal of the Comfort Mural as part of ARC recommendations

May 19, 2020

In 2004, SFU acquired a 19-metre-long, $600,000 colonial artwork painted by Charles Comfort, receiving it from the Toronto Dominion (TD Canada Trust) bank’s Vancouver headquarters. The painting, called the British Columbia Pageant, immediately sparked protest among the SFU community and the public; the painting is not only a misrepresentation of British Columbian history, but it offensively portrays Indigenous Peoples as decorative and passive. The removal of the mural began on June 24, 2019. 

This is the first piece of art being removed in response to SFU’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee’s (ARC) 2017 report and calls to action. SFU Indigenous Studies (INDG) professor, Eldon Yellowhorn is a member of this committee. The removal project was also overseen by the ARC Arts Cluster, a committee that was formed to address the report’s art-related calls to action. This committee also includes SFU INDG staff and faculty — Bryan Myles, June Scudeler and Deanna Reder. 

Text retrieved from The Peak article 'Controversial Charles Comfort mural will no longer be displayed at SFU' written by INDG student, Alison Wick