Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future

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Location of stained glass artwork.
Location of stained glass artwork.

Background

Stained Glass Window in Parliament Commemorating the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools.
Stained Glass Window in Parliament Commemorating the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

The stained glass window in Centre Block of Parliament commemorates the legacy of former Indian Residential School students and their families, as well as the Prime Minister's historic Apology in 2008.

A five member selection committee comprised of leading Aboriginal art experts and former Indian Residential School students with First Nations, Métis and Inuit representation was established to oversee the artist selection process. The design of renowned Métis artist Christi Belcourt was unanimously selected by the committee.

The window was installed directly above the west door of Centre Block in October 2012 and presented to the Speaker of the House on November 26, 2012 in a dedication ceremony on Parliament Hill.

This permanent commemoration of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools and of the historic Apology will encourage Parliamentarians, as well as visitors to Parliament for generations to come, to learn about the history of Indian Residential Schools and Canada's reconciliation efforts.

About the Artist - Christi Belcourt

Métis artist Christi Belcourt featured in front of her piece entitled This Painting is a Mirror.
Métis artist Christi Belcourt featured in front of her piece entitled "This Painting is a Mirror."
Photo credit: Alo White.

Christi Belcourt (b. 1966) is a Métis visual artist and author whose ancestry originates from the Métis historic community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. Born in Scarborough, Ontario, Christi is the first of three children born to political Métis rights leader Tony Belcourt and Judith Pierce Martin.

Christi is a visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. Like generations of Aboriginal artists before her, she celebrates the beauty of the natural world while exploring nature's symbolic properties. Following the tradition of Métis floral beadwork, Belcourt paints in dots and uses the subject matter as metaphors for human existence to relay a variety of meanings which include concerns for the environment, biodiversity, spirituality and awareness of Métis culture.

Her work can be found within the public collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Gabriel Dumont Institute, Indian and Inuit Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the Museum of Nature. She is the past recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Family Fund, and the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Selection committee members

  • Dr. Stephen Inglis
  • Madeleine Dion Stout
  • Dr. Douglas Cardinal
  • Heather Igloliorte
  • Dr. George MacDonald

Creating the window - A collection of videos and photos

The dedication of the stained glass window - Video collection

Publications

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