Ceremonies and events were held across Canada on September 30 to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The holiday was established as one of 94 Calls To Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 report.
In Bonnyville, the Grassroots Movement Committee held educational events and a drive-through (see story on page 3).
In St. Paul, the local chapter of l’Association Canadienne-Francaise de l’Alberta (ACFA) partnered with Champions For Change to present a multidisciplinary art event.
The special guest at the event was Saddle Lake First Nation painter Terence McGilvery. He was joined by sculptor Herman Poulin, stained glass artist Dellis Foisy, painter Missy Finlay, mosaicist Eric Spoeth, and crafter Sam Steinhauer.
McGilvery, who describes himself as a self-taught artist, has been painting for 15 years. He still lives in Saddle Lake, and says he took his inspiration from other artists he had seen as a child. “When I saw my own people’s art, I wanted to be like them,” he said.
“When I wake up in the morning, I’ve just got to paint,” he said. “It’s in my heart.”
The artists worked on pieces while they visited with attendees and passersby at Lions Park downtown. Members of the public were welcome to ask them questions about their work, their inspiration, and their lives.
Pierre Lamoureux of l’ACFA was one of the masters of ceremonies at the event, along with Judith Hess of Champions for Change. Lamoureux said he is “happy to be working towards healing and journeying between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities of St. Paul.”