Transcript: Métis Elder Rita Gordon
Greg Rickford: You know, it's really remarkable to think of the impact of this window and what it will have on many thousands of Canadians who share and see it in this significant location, a place where members of Parliament and visitors pass through each and every day, where media scrums take place. The stained glass window directly faces the entrance to the House of Commons where the Apology was delivered in 2008.
I would now like to invite Métis elder Rita Gordon who joined Governor General Michaëlle Jean and the commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at Rideau Hall in 2009 for witnessing the future, a poignant and emotional event that launched the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I'll now turn it over to elder Gordon to dedicate the window. Thank you.
Elder Rita Gordon: We're honoured to be here on the territory of the Algonquin nation, but we're especially honoured to be here with the residential school survivors. This is their day and we want to celebrate with them. Great Spirit, as we gather here today, our minds are drawn to the plight of the residential school survivors. Their lives were shattered many decades before the conception of this window was entertained and the shadowing of their lives is still a memory that lingers. As the pieces of their lives are healed, may this window reflect the beauty of their lives when the many pieces are united as one. Creator, allow this window to reflect on not only what has transpired in the past, but allow us glory to serve as a window to the future. May it be an unshattered beacon for infinity. Grant that Canadians and all who view this window shall for time immemorial garner from its spirit and ever strive to create a Canada that is inclusive of its indigenous people, as a vibrant and integral but distinct part of the Canadian mosaic.
Great Spirit, allow this window to stand as a constant reminder and everlasting symbol of what has transpired. The pain and the suffering that has occurred to the victims and their families who lived through those traumatic years, Creator, grant that the wrongs of the past be alleviated by a real desire to not only heal those affected during this tragic era in our history, but lead the survivors now on a path filled with peace, well-being and forgiveness. You've empowered the spirit and hand of the artist Christi Belcourt to envision and create this window, enabling all who glaze upon it, to see our past and look out to the future. May the power you will into this window stand for ever as a visual monument of Canada's aboriginal people who, despite great difficulties and many setbacks, have contributed ever so greatly to the Canadian nation. Creator, may the spirit of this window serve a constant reminder to law-makers of Canada that there is real consequence of their actions to the people they're elected to serve. Grant upon them the wisdom and compassion to carry out their responsibilities in a fair, just, humane and compassionate manner. To Christi Belcourt (in native language). You've made my heart glad. Amen, merci, Miigwetch. (Words in native language), may we meet again. God bless each and every one of the survivors, thank you.