Federal minister unveils artwork commemorating residential school experience
"Giniigaaniimenaaning, which means 'Looking Ahead,' tells a story of aboriginal peoples, cultures and languages through dark times"
Four years after Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to Inuit, Métis and First Nations Canadians for decades of abuse at church-run, government-approved schools, John Duncan, federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, unveiled artwork commemorating the legacy of former residential school students and their families.
Métis artist Christi Belcourt’s artwork will be transformed into stained glass and installed in Centre Block on Parliament Hill.
Belcourt’s design depicts healing and reconciliation between aboriginal people and all Canadians, said selection committee chair Stephen Inglis.
“The design, entitled Giniigaaniimenaaning, which means ‘Looking Ahead,’ tells a story of aboriginal peoples, cultures and languages through dark times and reflects the healing and resiliency of aboriginal traditions and languages. This is a story that is an important part of Canadian history, one which needs to be better known,” he said.
The selection committee, with leading Aboriginal art experts and former residential school students, unanimously recommended that this design be accepted as the design of the stained glass window.
The window will be installed in Centre Block directly above the MPs’ entrance, and is expected to be in place by late 2012.