Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
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
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
- Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
- Announcement of a Permanent Installation to Commemorate the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: October 27, 2012
- Alo White speaking about the story behind the stained glass window
- Christi Belcourt describes "Giniigaaniimenaaning"
- Stephen Inglis, Selection Committee Chair, speaks of the process to select the Artist
- Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Architect, reflects on the importance of gestures of Reconciliation
- Senator Vernon White speaks about reconciliation
- Tony Belcourt, Métis Leader, talks about the significance of the location of the stained glass window
- Photo Gallery: Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future
The dedication of the stained glass window - Video collection
- Opening by Member of Parliament Greg Rickford
- First Nation Elder Annie Smith-St. George
- The Honourable John Duncan
- Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons
- Métis Elder Rita Gordon
- Madeleine Dion Stout - Member of the Selection Committee
- Christi Belcourt, Artist
- Elder Alo White
- Wilton Littlechild, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Inuit Elder Sally Webster
- Closing Songs
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