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Memorial Art Sculpture Unveiled in Tribute to Residential School Survivors

September 30, 2022 11:51 AM | News


Memorial Art Sculpture

The Memorial Art Sculpture at the Gathering Place for Truth and Reconciliation was unveiled on Friday. (HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — A new art piece in tribute of Every Child Matters was unveiled in Winnipeg on Friday to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre unveiled the Memorial Art Sculpture at the Gathering Place for Truth and Reconciliation.

Artist Irvin Head created the large turtle sculptue as a reminder of 94 calls to action towards reconciliation.

The work also represents the turtle’s offspring of seven generations of Indigenous children that will lead and carry the knowledge and ways of knowing through prayer and medicine offered through the smudging ceremony and prayer to the ancestors and the Indigenous children and families of residential school survivors.

“We are thrilled to unveil the completed memorial art installation, as the concept was originally presented to the community at the 2021 event,” said Kathleen McKenzie, supporting event coordinator.

“This piece was designed and created by artist Irvin Head from Cranberry Portage, Manitoba. Unfortunately, Irvin fell ill in the last few months of working on the piece and has since passed on to the spirit world before it could be completed. He did, however, have many family and community members as well as other artists who were able to continue the project and carry on his legacy.”

The inspiration for the art piece began in September 2021, when the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre embarked on a journey of Truth and Reconciliation.

Artist Jasyn Lucas completed Head’s sculpture, which can be viewed at 445 King Street.

“I am very familiar with his work, his approach, and the significant meanings and teachings within Irvin’s Art,” said Lucas. “I had a feeling that once I was familiar with the tools that I would surely be able to complete the piece.”