Sept. 20, 2023

Illuminating truth and reconciliation at UCalgary

MacKimmie Tower glows orange as UCalgary hosts Orange Shirt Day events
Orange Shirt Day

Starting Sept. 27, the University of Calgary’s MacKimmie Tower will be lit with the bright orange hue of Orange Shirt Day. The Office of Indigenous Engagement, supported by ii’ taa’poh’to’p, created the Night Light tribute as a yearly installation at the university, intended to bring awareness to the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Sept 30.

The Night Light tribute will run for four nights until the morning of Oct. 1. The number four is important for many Indigenous Peoples and worldviews. Reflecting on the significance of the number four, we honour and reflect on this key aspect of many Indigenous cultures as a way to demonstrate our growing understanding.

The memorial was first introduced in 2021 with projections of the phrase “Every child matters” across four campus buildings and has continued each year since, reminding us that we can never lose sight of the children and must remember all they experienced. The Night Light tribute honours survivors as well as those who did not survive residential schooling by focusing on the colour orange to increase visibility and encourage curious viewers to think critically about truth and reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day events

During the days leading up to Saturday, Sept. 30, UCalgary will be hosting meaningful programming to mark the observance. Events will be taking place on campus as well as at the Calgary Public Library’s (CPL) central location downtown, in partnership with UCalgary’s Office of Indigenous Engagement.

More than just one day: Storying Indigenous art on UCalgary main campus
Until Sept. 30

A team of transdisciplinary scholars from UCalgary’s Faculty of Nursing, Werklund School of Education and Faculty of Social Work invites community members to consider their commitment to advancing truth and reconciliation for more than just one day. Using Padlet, the faculties share photographs of Indigenous art on campus to encourage a different way to engage with art as storytelling/retelling that lives on for more than just one day.

Indigenous film screening
Sept. 27 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
In-person, ENG 207

The Schulich School of Engineering invites participants to a free film screening of Indian Horse. Directed by Stephen Campanelli, the film is an adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel. This film portrays the experience of a young boy taken from his Ojibway family and committed to a Catholic Residential School in 1950s Canada. Register

Cadmus Delorme Presentation
Sept. 29 | 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, UCalgary, and livestreamed  

Cadmus Delorme, a Cree and Saulteaux and former chief of Cowessess First Nation, shares his presentation, What We Inherited and Better Understanding Our Role in Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. Hosted by the Office of Indigenous Engagement and CPL. Register to attend the event in person.  Register to attend the event online

Film Screening of Beans
Sept. 29 | 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Central Library and livestreamed  

Join us for a free viewing and discussion of the film Beans, directed by Tracey Deer, with special remarks from CPL CEO Sarah Meilleur, BA’01, and UCalgary’s Dr. Shawna Cunningham, acting vice-provost (Indigenous engagement). Hosted by CPL and the Office of Indigenous Engagement. Register to attend the event in personRegister to attend the event online

Nickle Galleries

The Art of Faye HeavyShield
Sept. 21 | 5 – 8 p.m.

Public tour
Sept. 22 | 12 p.m.

Nickle Galleries is pleased to host The Art of Faye HeavyShield, curated by Felicia Gay, Sept. 21 to Dec. 9, 2023. The exhibition opens with a reception on Sept. 21 with the artist and curator in attendance. They will offer a public tour of the exhibition at noon on Friday, Sept. 22. Everyone is welcome.

Indigenous art collection in the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL)
Event details
Sept. 25 | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Kaia MacLeod will be offering her popular tours of the Indigenous Art Collection in the TFDL on Sept. 25, Oct. 23 and Nov. 30. Registration required as space is limited.

Dawn Saunders Dahl: Artist, connector, maker
Event details
Oct. 26 | 12 p.m.

Dawn Saunders Dahl is an artist, curator of public art and a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta.  She will talk about her experiences developing public art programs and projects while maintaining her own studio practice.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action: Read-aloud event
Sept. 28 | 2-5 p.m.

This event aims to hold a space for the UCalgary campus community to actively consider the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. Together, we will read aloud the calls to amplify their impact. We will also spend some time engaging with others about how these calls can be part of our daily lives. This event is open to all individuals and communities, both on campus and off.

Elders Story Project
Sept. 30 | 7 p.m.
Jack Singer Concert Hall

Elders will share their personal stories about their residential school experiences and their healing journeys, while demonstrating the resilience and strength of Indigenous Peoples and the power of their traditional practices.

Join us for a transformational evening of learning and inspiration at Arts Commons, in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Tickets are free / by donation, with all donations for the Elders Story Project going to support the work of the Elders Knowledge Circle Society. The Elder Storytelling Project is an initiative of the Elders Knowledge Circle Society in partnership with Arts Commons, Calgary Counselling Centre, Calgary Public Library, Ernst & Young (EY), United Way of Calgary and Area, and the University of Calgary. Register

The University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, “in a good way,” UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization

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