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(Left) The Stained Glass window commemorating Residential School Survivors unveiled
in Parliament. (Right) M¨¦tis artist Christi Belcourt, who designed the window, speaking
at the ceremony
MNO Executive Senator Reta Gordon speaking at the Dedication Ceremony
The picture above indicates the location of the Residential Schools
Stained Glass Window
On the morning of November 26, a ceremony was held in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa to formally dedicate and unveil stained glass windows commemorating residential school survivors. ?The installation of the windows on Parliament Hill is part of the Government of Canada¡¯s 2008 apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools. In 2011, the Canadian government announced as a gesture of reconciliation that the legacy of Indian Residential Schools would be commemorated through a permanent installation of stained glass artwork in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. Following the announcement, a five member selection committee of Aboriginal art experts was established to oversee the artist selection process. This group invited a number of Canadian Aboriginal artists to submit designs and ultimately selected the design submitted by M¨¦tis artist Christi Belcourt, the daughter of MNO founding President Tony Belcourt.
Entitled "Giniigaaniimenaaning", which means 'Looking Ahead', the window tells a story of Aboriginal peoples, cultures and languages through dark times and reflects the healing and resiliency of Aboriginal traditions and languages.
During the ceremony, Christi said the windows are dedicated to all residential school survivors. M¨¦tis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Executive Senator Reta Gordon also spoke at the ceremony and provided a dedication prayer as the representative of the M¨¦tis people.
M¨¦tis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski stated: ¡°This window is an important part of the reconciliation process. It is fitting that a M¨¦tis artist designed this window as many of our people suffered in residential schools, a fact that is not as widely known and recognized as it should be. Christi is a wonderful role model for M¨¦tis youth. She shows us all what M¨¦tis people can accomplish.¡±
Click here for more information on the Stained Glassed Windows
Click here to watch a video of a CBC report on Ceremony highlights
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