Find below an opportunity to show support for Residential School Survivors and their intergenerational descendants through an art display called A PLACE TO HANG YOUR STORIES. Our friends at the Indigenous Family Centre, the same place we have Meet Me at the Bell Tower Each Friday has stepped up to the plate to volunteer their space for this important project.
In fall 2013, Artist Dawn Marie Marchand was approached by a community member who knew that the final Truth and Reconciliation Commission event was going to Edmonton March 2014. Knowing the power of Walking With Our Sisters Exhibit which provided immense awareness to the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous women, it also gave people a voice to be heard and often much needed healing. She wondered if such a project could happen for Residential School Survivors and their intergenerational descendants who are still affected even if they did not attend themselves.
This project was born from that original conversation. A public announcement for paper bricks was made, that would be visual representations of stories from Indian Residential School or how it affected them or their descendants. Art builds were held around Alberta which included Edmonton, Calgary, St. Paul and others. Many more bricks were mailed from across Canada. Notably Winnipeg held art builds where over 72 participants contributed bricks to the art installation. These were collaged onto the canvas walls of a gazebo to create a one room school house.
Each brick represented a story that for some were the first steps towards healing. The bricks were treated in a way that honours each story and participant. They were all smudged and wrapped in prints while they were being compiled. When they were being installed they were smudged again and not allowed to touch the floor.
At the viewing, people were asked to hold a stone in their left hand and leave it with use when they left. These stones will be laid into the walking paths of theHealing Garden at Blue Quills First Nation College. It is a symbolic representation of placing the hurts under our feet.
The installation was well received with 1000’s of people attending. The feedback was incredibly positive and received good publicity as it was then moved to CBC Radio at Edmonton Place after the TRC event. It was then requested to be viewed again in Edmonton at the International Works Festival where it was one of the feature exhibits in the Big Tent with Ken Armstrong’s powerful photography on Homelessness in I Edmonton. It was the most visited exhibit averaging over 1,200 people daily.
There was a great deal of dialogue created with this predominantly mainstream non-native event.
We are looking to fund the travel expenses to Winnipeg, please help share much needed healing and awareness.
A venue has been located and donated in-kind:
Indigenous Family Centre
470 Selkirk Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R2W 2M5
With dates set for August 20 – 31, 2014