Truth to Reconciliation[1]

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  Absrcinal Healing Foundation Research Series From Truth to Reconciliation Transforming the Legacy of Residential Schools  RESILIENCE OF THE FLOWERBEADWORK PEOPLE Christi Belcourt 1999Acrylic on Canvas We have survived through incredibleodds. We very easily could have beenabsorbedintothemainstreamsociety.Thepressuresweretherefromallsides.Nomatter.Wearehere.Despitedirectassimilation attempts. Despite theresidential school systems. Despitethe strong influences of the Churchin Métis communities to ignore anddeny our Absrcinal heritage and ourAboriginalspirituality.WearestillabletosayweareproudtobeMétis.Weareresilient as a weed. As beautiful as a wildflower. We have much tocelebrate and be proud of. – Christi Belcourt  (excerpt from WRESTLING WITH MY DEMONS Abraham Anghik Ruben 2001Brazilian soapstoneCollection of the Silverberg FamilyThis sculpture is a personal interp-retationofmylife.Itisamirrorofmypast, a signpost for the present, areminderofyetunresolvedissuesandday-to-day struggles. Past strugglesinclude twenty years of alcoholismand my recovery, and years in theresidential school system. Thesedemons still make themselvesknown,butastimegoesby,theyhavebecome faint echoes and whispers. – Abraham Anghik Ruben  ( BLOOD TEARS Alex Janvier 2001Acrylic on linenPainted on the artist’s 66 th birthday, Blood Tears  is both a statement of Mr. Janvier’s sense of loss and acelebration of his resilience, made allthemorepowerfulwiththeinclusionofalengthyinscriptionpaintedinhisown hand on the rear of the canvas.The inscription details a series of losses attributed to the ten yearshe spent at the Blue Quills IndianResidentialSchool:lossofchildhood,language, culture, customs, parents,grandparents, and traditional beliefs. He was taken off the landhe loved and severely punished for speaking his language—Denesu’liné. Being a little boy did not matter and “many, manydied of broken bodies” and “broken spirit.” The entire inscriptionis reproduced within.  © 2008 Absrcinal Healing FoundationPublished by:Absrcinal Healing Foundation75 Albert Street, Suite 801, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5E7Phone: (613) 237-4441oll-free: (888) 725-8886Fax: (613) 237-4442Email: research@ahf.caWebsite: www.ahf.caCover Design:Beat StudiosOttawa, OntarioDesign & Production:Absrcinal Healing FoundationPrinted by:Dollco Printing Ottawa, OntarioPrinted version:ISBN 978-1-897285-59-6Electronic version:ISBN 978-1-897285-61-9Unauthorized use of the name “Absrcinal Healing Foundation” and of the Foundation’s logo is prohibited.Non-commercial reproduction of this document is, however, encouraged.Tis project was funded by the Absrcinal Healing Foundation (AHF), but the views expressed in this report are the personal views of the author(s).Ce document est aussi disponible en français.
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