An exhibition at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre in Saskatchewan is showcasing artwork created by the staff and students of Balcarres Community School depicting the National Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s 94 calls to action. Reconciliation educator Susan Beaudin has emphasized that the artwork serves as an important acknowledgment of a dark chapter in history.
The art pieces, originally crafted in 2018 under the guidance of teacher Michele Schwab and Indigenous artist Holly Yuzicapi, provide visual representations of the 94 reconciliation calls to action outlined by the National Truth and Reconciliation Committee in 2015. Beaudin mentioned that through these artworks, students engaged in discussions on the significance of reconciliation and interpreted the calls to action in their own unique ways.
Reverend John Weckend of the Archdiocese of Regina played a key role in bringing the artwork to the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre. The Reverend highlighted the ongoing importance of truth and reconciliation efforts, emphasizing that it is a continual process rather than a one-time initiative. He noted that the exhibit aims to strengthen understanding and outreach efforts between the Catholic Church and Indigenous communities.
During the exhibition, guests have the opportunity to explore the art pieces throughout the month of February, which coincides with Indigenous storytelling month. Beaudin expressed that it is crucial for the public to view Indigenous individuals beyond their experiences in residential schools, recognizing that there are diverse lives and perspectives beyond this traumatic history.
Weckend mentioned that several upcoming events at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre will feature guest speakers and discussions focused on reconciliation. The artworks not only serve as a visual representation of the calls to action but also open up conversations about healing, understanding, and moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation.
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