Commemoration, Art and Education

Commemoration, art, and education are all essential parts of truth gathering, healing, and reconciliation.

Art is a powerful tool for commemoration. It can send a message of hope or loss, resilience or reconciliation. It can be an instrument that shares truth and knowledge with a wide audience.

An artist can create art as a means of healing from traumatic experiences, or as a way to inspire action. Most powerfully, art provides a platform for voices that may not get an opportunity to share their stories elsewhere. Public commemorations, through art, can help bring forward the personal stories that show colonial violence. They bear witness to injustice, recognize the human dignity of victims and survivors, and call Canada to account.

The National Inquiry has adopted the TRC’s guiding principles on commemoration as we develop and implement our own commemoration initiatives. They were:

  • Survivors should be active participants who can advise and make recommendations on projects;
  • Projects should strengthen family and community memory and make the history and legacy of residential schools a part of Canada’s history; and
  • Projects should support Indigenous peoples’ healing as they reclaim their identities and revitalize their land-based cultures.

We will continue to work with families, survivors, organizations, and governments on future plans to honour and commemorate Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people who have been lost to violence.

Artistic Expressions

The National Inquiry invites artists to submit their work.