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.