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Indigenous sculpture unveiled at the Forks

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Finally unveiled to the public – the sculpture “What can we do to respect each other” is now on display at the Forks.

Created by Indigenous artist KC Adams and commissioned by the Winnipeg Foundation – the piece tells the story of reconciliation.

“I really wanted to talk about the treaty relationships, and thinking about Chief Peguis when he initially started working with the settlers, he really saw them as his brothers and sisters. To him, they were no different than him, they both had a beating heart, they both had blood flowing through them. So the idea that they should work together was part of his ways of being and ways of thinking. When you look at the piece, there are two characters golfed in flames, one is Wesakechak, and the other is the wolf, and in Cree storytelling, Wesakechak is this benevolent spirit and he befriends the wolf and calls him his brother,” said KC Adams.

The display was supposed to be inaugurated earlier this year, but it was postponed until August due to COVID-19. But to KC, the piece couldn’t have come in a better time after the discovery of all of the Indigenous kids’ unmarked graves.

“Both my ancestors and my community always knew that there were graves, it’s just that the rest of Canada didn’t. So, when you think about the wrongs that have happened in the past, how are we going to move forward to respect each other, how are we going to move forward in a good way? So I find that this work is a really good conversation starter,” said KC Adams.

A perfect example of that is residential school survivor Eliza Beardy.  She was walking by when she saw the sculpture, which brought back memories and hope for what is to come.

“You know, you talk about reconciliation, what is reconciliation to you people? Until that comes in, reconciliation, love, for us to reconcile one another, you have to love straight from the heart, it’s gotta come from the heart,” said Eliza Beardy.

“In friendship and understanding, because until we have friendship and understanding, and love, there’s no reconciliation,” said Patt Robinson. 

The display is located at the peace meeting site, right beside the Human Rights Museum.

-Juliana Vannucci, U Multicultural.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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