RISE - Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton is a group of citizens in the Edmonton region committed to supporting reconciliation in words & actions.
Reconciling Edmonton will bring together four collaborators: Anna Marie Sewell, Miranda Jimmy, Danielle Metcalf-Chenailand Jennie Vegt – two Indigenous, two settler – to explore the intersections of these threads of history in the city through public art. Too often Edmonton's story is presented as one of pioneers, homesteaders and settlement that ends with the Second World War. In addition, textbooks, heritage institutions, and popular media have also relegated Indigenous Peoples to the distant past. We want to help shift these perspectives through visual art and poetry grounded in the historic record. What were moments when Indigenous individuals and settlers came together in Edmonton's past? What can we learn from how they were photographed and documented?
What we envision is a series of seven panels based on seven historic photographs that Jennie, the artist in residence at City Hall, would render in her inimitable style. These seven paintings would represent seven generations – roughly the 150 years since the late Fort Edmonton period and Treaty Six signing, as well as the 150 years the Truth and Reconciliation Commission found the Residential School system lasted.
After narrowing down the topics/eras, we will secure the archival photos for Jennie to work from. She will then begin preparing a panel to be working on at the August 21st Treaty Six Commemoration event at City Hall. During that event, the other project partners will be on hand to discuss the initiative and solicit anonymous reactions – a word, a phrase – from attendees to the displayed historic photos and her paintings. By late September, we will have gathered in all the reactions to the photos and paintings through face-to-face input as well as through social media. These words and reactions will then be weaved into spoken word poetry piece, created by Anna Marie and Danielle.
The photos, paintings, and poetry will then be unveiled as a performance at a Community Round Dance Celebration in City Hall in late November. A true reconciliation of the past, present, and future of better relations between Indigenous, settler, and newcomer communities in Edmonton. #ReconcilingYEG