Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
On Monday, November 26, 2012, at 9:00am EST, a live webcast was broadcast, from Parliament Hill, of the stained glass window dedication ceremony. 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.
On June 11, 2008, thousands of Canadians from across the country along with former students and Aboriginal leaders witnessed the Prime Minister's historic Apology for the abuse experienced by many who attended Indian Residential Schools and the impact this system had on Aboriginal languages and culture.
On October 27, 2011, Minister Duncan announced that, as a gesture of reconciliation, the Government of Canada would commemorate the legacy of Indian Residential Schools through a permanent installation of stained glass artwork in Centre Block on Parliament Hill and thanked the Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons, for his support on this project. Given the significance of the Apology and its Parliamentary nature, the Speaker agreed that the window be installed in Centre Block, directly above the Members' entrance.
A 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.
Following this announcement, 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.
On June 11, 2012, the fourth anniversary of the Prime Minister's historic Apology, Minister Duncan unveiled Ms. Belcourt's design and announced it would be translated into stained glass and installed in Parliament. Since that time, Ms. Belcourt has worked in close collaboration with Vision Art Glass Studio on the translation of her design into a stained glass window. The window was installed directly above the west door of Centre Block in October 2012 and presented to Speaker Scheer on November 26, 2012 in a dedication ceremony on Parliament Hill.
- Video - Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
- Video - Announcement of a Permanent Installation to Commemorate the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: October 27, 2012
- Video - Announcement of the Selected Design for the Stained Glass Window: June 11, 2012
- Video - Alo White speaking about the story behind the stained glass window
- Video - Christi Belcourt describes "Giniigaaniimenaaning"
- Video - Stephen Inglis, Selection Committee Chair, speaks of the process to select the Artist
- Video - Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Architect, Reflects on the Importance of Gestures of Reconciliation
- Video - Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future: Senator Vernon White speaks about reconciliation
- Video - Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future: Tony Belcourt, Métis Leader, talks to the significance of the location of the stained glass window
- Photo Gallery: Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
November 26, 2012 Stained Glass Window Dedication Ceremony
- Video - Opening by Member of Parliament Greg Rickford
- Video - First Nation Elder Annie Smith-St. George
- Video - The Honourable John Duncan
- Video - Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons
- Video - Métis Elder Rita Gordon
- Video - Madeleine Dion Stout - Member of the Selection Committee
- Video - Christi Belcourt, Artist
- Video - Elder Alo White
- Video - Wilton Littlechild, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Video - Inuit Elder Sally Webster
- Video - Closing Songs
In the News
- June 11, 2012 News Release marking the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools on Parliament Hill
- October 27, 2011 News Release announcing plans to remember the legacy of Indian Residential Schools on Parliament Hill
- Biographical Note: Christi Belcourt
- Panel of Art Experts Biographies
- Spotlight - Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
- Brochure: Stained Glass Window in Parliament Commemorating the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools
- Artist Description of "Giniigaaniimenaaning" (Looking Ahead)
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