It’s been almost two years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Vancouver events. At that time we talked about what happened to First Nations children going to residential schools. 22 Days is a time to remember those stories: to re-hear that sadness. Together we drew pictures about how we might feel if we had to leave our families. We talked about what we would miss if we had to go to residential school. We would miss how our family loves us, cares about us and takes care of us. We would miss all the stories our families tell. It made us feel lost, alone and very sad.
And then we ripped those stories up, we ripped the past into little scraps and then put them in the blender…and we made something entirely new. We made paper and added seeds for a new future. We created space for new stories.
Using jar lids, elastic bands and pantyhose we made small frames to collect our pulp, then added forget-me-not seeds.
As we waited for our paper to dry we talked about how long it might take to heal from all that sadness and agreed that it might take a very long time. We wondered about what action we could take to make sure something like this never happens again. “We just should never treat people badly” was the answer that made this group nod.
At the end of the 22 Days on June 21st, we are going to write prayers of hope and healing on the paper we made. We are going to honor the importance of remembering and of forgiving and of finding paths forward. Recognizing the past to build a future for all of us.