Meant to honour those who survived Canada’s residential school system and those who were lost, Indigenous artists and residential school survivors picked up paintbrushes and began the creation of the “We Are Still Here” mural on Wednesday.
According to a press release, the “We Are Still Here” mural is a joint project between the City of London, N’Amerind Friendship Centre and the London Arts Council. The project aims to “honour the legacy of Residential School Survivors and the children who were lost through Canada’s Residential School System.”
On Wednesday afternoon, members of the media were allowed a sneak peak at the project, which saw Ojibwe educator and lead artist Mike Cywink and youth Indigenous artists and residential school survivors paint a portion of the mural.
The two-story mural will be formally unveiled at the N’Amerind Friendship Centre on Sept. 30, during National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
According to the release, the “We Are Still Here” mural will increase public awareness and knowledge of the history of Canada’s residential school system, honour residential school survivors and the children who were lost through the system, and will celebrate Indigenous arts, culture, knowledge and history.
“Residential School Survivors have contributed to the creation of the mural through consultation sessions, providing them with a meaningful voice and commemorating their resilience and their lives throughout the development of the project,” the release says.