A beautiful turtle sculpture created by an Anishnaabe artist has been permanently placed in Nathan Phillips Square as part of commemorating residential school survivors.
TORONTO — The Indian Residential School Survivors Legacy Celebration has commenced within the streets of Toronto,
Solomon King, an artist of Anishnaabe descent, crafted the monument under the Council Fire’s direction which was unveiled on Tuesday. The monument depicts a turtle and is paired with a garden placed in Nathan Phillips Square, and is called the Restoration of Identity Sculpture. The overall project to be permanently placed in the square is hoped to be completed in 2020.
Currently, there are over ten painted teepees resting in the square as well while the three-day IRSS celebration continues until Thursday.
“This project represents a significant step forward in Toronto’s commitment to restitution,” said Andrea Chrisjohn, Board Designate for Council Fire. “Every person who comes to City Hall will have a space to reflect on the legacy of Residential Schools and honour survivors. It will put the history of Indigenous people front and centre in our city, and remind us how far we still have to go.”
This “Restoration of Identity” project is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s call for the creation of highly-visible, publicly accessible structures in each of the capital cities to commemorate the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential schools.
“Council Fire’s IRSS legacy project is a powerful and thoughtful response to The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action for each capital city to establish a highly-visible, accessible structure to commemorate the victims and survivors of the residential school system,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. “Toronto City Council should demonstrate its active support for this extraordinary initiative of reconciliation by funding and assisting in the full implementation of the vision on Nathan Phillips Square.”