The following description was provided by the Four Directions student organization to describe the mural that they commissioned in 2020.
The first of its kind at the University of Missouri, the Indigenous Mural, created by artist Yatika Starr Fields and commissioned by the student organization Four Directions, aims to acknowledge, and celebrate the Native Peoples who practice culture, ceremony and life on the sacred and ancestral ecology of lands and waters colonially known as “Missouri.”
The mural is a visual storyboard of past, present and future Indigenous experiences. The constellation of color, movement, cultural symbols and storytelling are intended to encourage the viewer to see slices of their own journey within the piece.
The river streaming through the mural connects the many Native backgrounds of students at Mizzou, as well as the diverse tribal nations that make up Turtle Island (North America). Indigenous relationships with waterways have been important since time immemorial, and rivers and water often represent life in creation stories.
The Four Directions circle, for which the Indigenous student organization at Mizzou is named, anchors the mural with white, red, yellow and black. The large circle represents the four directions (north, east, west, south) and related elements of life such as fire, wisdom, introspection, mental health, earth and spiritual wellness.
The Indigenous Mural is located at the MU Student Center on the main level near the information desk.