City recognizes truth and reconciliation with local artwork

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The City of Fort Saskatchewan and City Council took action to honor the Indigenous community on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

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Along with a proclamation recognizing the national holiday at the municipal level, Mayor Gale Katchur announced that the work of a local Aboriginal artist would be displayed at City Hall in downtown Fort Saskatchewan.

Ellie Lagrandeur has been an artist for over 30 years; well known in Ontario, she moved to Alberta in 2015. Lagrandeur has created murals across Canada and creates original paintings and commissions at Fort Saskatchewan Gallery, Dreamcatchers Gift and Art Gallery.

The local artist is of Ojibway descent and is the granddaughter of a residential school survivor.

Lagrandeur’s work, titled “Dreamcatcher Princess”, was shortlisted for the city’s 2020 Art in Public Places competition. The city purchased the work, which will be displayed at the Dow Centennial Center. “I’m so honored and grateful,” Lagrandeur said at the time. “What a great way to end 2020.”

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Her most recent painting features a feather above an orange background, with the words “Every Child Matters” written across the length of the feather.

The phrase Every Child Matters is used to honor the victims of residential schools – communicating that all children matter, including those who remained in residential schools, as well as adults who are still healing from the trauma suffered there. -down.

“The City of Fort Saskatchewan is proud to announce tonight that this drawing will be painted in front of City Hall to show our commitment to truth and reconciliation,” Mayor Gale Katchur shared on social media.

“Thank you to artist Ellie from Dreamcatchers Gift and Art Gallery. This will be so special for our community,” the post concluded.

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Along with the art exhibit, Mayor Katchur made a proclamation, recognizing the importance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and reiterating the city’s commitment to the reconciliation process.

“The City of Fort Saskatchewan recognizes the impacts of Canada’s colonial history on Indigenous peoples and affirms that Indigenous peoples in Canada continue to face systemic discrimination to this day as a result of this history,” the proclamation reads.

“The Canadian government created and supported residential schools across the country, where Indigenous children were separated from their families, culture, language and sense of belonging, and were often victims of abuse. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Act provides for a national day to honor survivors of residential schools, remember the thousands of children who did not survive, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains an essential part of the reconciliation process.

“The City of Fort Saskatchewan Council supports taking concrete steps toward reconciliation and believes that recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation…is an important step,” the statement read.

For more information on the City’s reconciliation efforts, visit the Truth and Reconciliation link under the Live Here tab on the City’s website, fortsask.ca.

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