November 20, 2018

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Honouring the legacy of residential schools survivors

Honouring the legacy of residential schools survivors

Photo: Artist’s mock-up of the turtle legacy structure coming to Nathan Phillips Square in 2018.

Turtle Sculpture coming to Nathan Phillips Square as part of Restoration of Identity project

Nathan Phillips Square will soon be home to a new Indigenous teaching, learning, sharing, and healing space in honour of Residential School survivors.

At a launch event Thursday evening, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre shared that the centerpiece of this new space will be the Indian Residential School System (IRSS) Legacy Sculpture – a turtle in honour of Residential School survivors to be crafted by Anishinaabe artist Solomon King under Council Fire’s direction.

“This project represents a significant step forward in Toronto’s commitment to restitution,” said Andrea Chrisjohn, Board Designate for Council Fire. “Every person who comes to City Hall will have a space to reflect on the legacy of Residential Schools and honour survivors. It will put the history of Indigenous people front and centre in our city, and remind us how far we still have to go.”

This “Restoration of Identity” project is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) call for the establishment of a highly-visible, publicly accessible structure in each capital city to commemorate the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential schools. The sculpture is being crafted by Anishinaabe artist Solomon King under the direction of Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre.

The project is supported by the City of Toronto. “Council Fire’s IRSS legacy project is a powerful and thoughtful response to The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action for each capital city to establish a highly-visible, accessible structure to commemorate the victims and survivors of the residential school system,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. “Toronto City Council should demonstrate its active support for this extraordinary initiative of reconciliation by funding and assisting in the full implementation of the vision on Nathan Phillips Square.”

The sculpture and garden will be unveiled on October 10, 2018.

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Media Contacts:
Suze Morrison, Ontario, Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, smorrison@ofifc.org416.420.9673
Theo Nazary, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, strategyplanner@councilfire.ca647.226.8927

Suze Morrison

Communications Coordinator

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