The NCTR is calling all young people from across the country from kindergarten to grade 12 to lead our nation through Reconciliation. Imagine a Canada is a great way for young people to see themselves not just as concerned citizens but also as transformative citizens; to empower them to be the change they want to see in the world. We want students to show us how they can be a leader in Reconciliation, to make the future of Canada a more respectful place. Share their vision of what Reconciliation can be through a poem, a song, a painting, a sculpture, a rap, a drawing, an essay, anything! Each piece of art is showcased by the NCTR and honoured for what the art represents.
Residential School history can be a challenging and difficult topic; understanding and learning through art can heal, transform and empower students to make a difference in Canadian society. NCTR now has an Imagine a Canada teachers guide to help navigate this subject. It can be found on our website: education.nctr.ca. The educational tool covers the history of Residential Schools and allows the students to critically examine the world around them and choose how they can make a difference.
What we have seen from the past year’s honourees artwork has not always been about the quality of work but the meaning behind the piece. Students invited to the National Leadership Workshop and Ceremony celebrating Reconciliation with Survivors and Elders showed in-depth learning from the past and their journey into making a better future. One student spoke to her grandfather, a Residential School Survivor, about his experience for the first time, and crafted paintings representing the past and the vision of Reconciliation through her families healing process. Another student-produced digital art telling a story of the resiliency of youth, especially Two-Spirit and other Indigenous members of the LGBT2SQ+ community. A different drawing depicted the richness of diversity within Canada supporting and bringing the nation together.
“The vision of Canada presented by these youth gives us a powerful window to the future they want to see – a world based on respect, mutual recognition and revitalized Indigenous languages, cultures and identities,” says Ry Moran, director of the NCTR. “Realizing this vision demands our attention. It is our collective responsibility to ensure young people have the opportunity to realize their dreams of a better, healthier country.”
Friends and partners of the NCTR from across the country help select, recognize and honour submissions in each region of the country and one young person from each province and territory are selected to attend the National Leadership Workshop and Ceremony celebrating Reconciliation.
More information at: Imagine a Canada