Apology

Copied backwards with my non-dominant hand – 8 years later, plexiglass, plywood, marker, 2016, 198cm x 102cm x 6cm

Stephen Harper delivered an apology to Residential School survivors in 2008. It seemed very heartfelt, although he didn’t write it himself. It seemed like things might change – you be the judge.

I am a settler exploring misrepresented Canadian history. I have undertaken the task of writing the apology backwards to think more slowly about what was said and to bring its commitments back to view. As I wrote, I also thought about the children in the Residential schools who were forced to learn a language and culture that was alien to them, while being punished for revealing any of their own. My small struggle made me think of their overwhelming struggle. My writing is hard to read from either side of the board, often viewers only read small segments at a time because the text is overwhelming. Yet the few words they may absorb still seem to tell the story.

 

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