A quilt created by the Kawartha Truth and Reconciliation Support Group (KTRSG) is prominently on display at Peterborough Public Health until September 23, 2016.
“We are honoured to provide a public location for this beautiful quilt created as a response to the history of residential schools in Canada,” says Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.
“This quilt is strongly connected to public health as the stories it holds are intended to support healing and good health by honouring this difficult part of our national heritage so we can move forward as a country that respects all First Nations.”
At 8′ wide by 6′ tall, the quilt is comprised of 24 squares, each representing an individual KTRSG member’s response to the legacy of residential schools.
The quilt was created to circulate throughout the wider community, both to acknowledge the pain and suffering inflicted on Indigenous peoples by this brutal system and to promote the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.
“Local public health agencies are working with Indigenous partners across Ontario to develop local strategies that address the health inequities experienced by many First Nations people,” says Dr. Salvaterra. “Our own board of health takes the commission’s calls to actions very seriously and is privileged to have leaders from Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations serving on the board for the benefit of everyone’s public health.”
Peterborough Public Health serves the residents of Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, as well as the County and City of Peterborough.
Members of the public are encouraged to view the quilt hung on the second floor outside the elevators at Peterborough Public Health at Jackson Square on 185 King St. during business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The quilt will be on display at this location until September 23.
The story of Chanie Wenjack – Heritage Minutes
The terrible legacy of Canada’s residential schools — where more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and culture and which caused the deaths of thousands of these children — is again in the public eye with yesterday’s news that Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip is releasing a new album and graphic novel about the tragic death of 12-year-old Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack.
Wenjack died of exposure and hunger in 1966 after running away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora in an attempt to return to his home, Marten Falls First Nation, many hundreds of kilometres away. His death sparked the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools.
All of the proceeds from Downie’s multimedia project, called Secret Path, will support the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.