The Canadian Library?
Micro Galleries, Everywhere!
The Canadian Library project is a community-engaged installation of over 8,000 hard-cover books, which will be individually covered in Indigenous-inspired fabric, and arranged on bookshelves. The names of lives lost, printed in gold letters, are placed on the spines of these books to individually respect and honour the thousands of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and children.
TCL hopes that the visual representation of the books covered in glorious Indigenous fabrics and the names of those lost, printed on the spines of the books, will evoke a sense of empathy, understanding and desire to see change.
TCL has, and continues, to consult and collaborate, with a great number of friends from various Indigenous communities, as they guide TCL on necessary and respectful steps to take along this journey. As allies and co-resistors, coming together to support our Indigenous families, TCL hopes to build mutual consent and trust, and to continue support in ways that are meaningful.
The First Micro Gallery
As the project was trying to get off the ground, with the little funds that were collected amongst a small team of women, an initial bookcase was needed to house the covered books. A tall Billy bookcase for sale was found on Facebook Marketplace. The owner was kind enough to deliver it to TCL’s makeshift office and in the process of ‘chit-chat’ and understanding the purpose of the bookcase and the aim of the project, the owner shared her story.
She is the daughter of a residential school survivor. TCL felt so blessed that the first donation of a bookcase was from the daughter of a residential school survivor. Her mother is a survivor of the Shingwauk Residential School and to have her kick off this journey was very powerful.
The team at TCL also discovered profound beauty in the culture of Indigenous peoples. The art, designs and colours that we have been exposed to, through the fabrics, are breathtaking, which have been purchased through Indigenous businesses.
What started as a few like-minded women wanting to help educate each other, through humility and respect, on the past and present state of affairs surrounding Indigenous families, has led TCL to create a beautiful living memorial and an educational tool to help settlers learn.