The Canadian Library?
The Canadian Library is a living art installation initiative created as a memorial to MMIWG and children.
It is intended to start important conversations and help educate all Canadians on the true history of Canada and the inequalities that still exist today.
Over the past years, we all have been emotionally affected by the discovery of the remains of thousands of Indigenous children on the grounds of residential schools. We have also become more acutely aware of the sheer number of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls (MMIWG) and children.
What is shocking and upsetting is the lack of support by different levels of government, authorities and the justice system to help locate these beautiful women and girls or hold the perpetrators accountable, compared to that of non-Indigenous women and children.
What Led To The Creation Of TCL?
TCL, along with the rest of the world, became aware of the largest unmarked mass grave of Indigenous children, found on the grounds of a former residential school. The youth at The Giving Tree Unionville, a social justice group in Markham, were impacted by these horrific discoveries. They decided to reach out to Indigenous teenagers their own age and discovered, firsthand, numerous more crimes against humanity that their communities faced and continue to face. Many of them had lost grandmothers, mothers, and sisters with little to no concern from the authorities.
In September 2021, the youth held the Red Dress Project to raise awareness about the issues. Thousands of people attended, many of whom were horrified and left in tears after learning about the atrocities that have been committed against Indigenous women and children and the continuing injustices.
After the Red Dress Project event, it was evident that vital talks needed to continue and a need to educate one another. After doing some research, The Canadian Library was inspired by British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare, to create this difficult but important project. Donated books and vibrant Indigenous designed fabrics will create a lasting memorial to honour lives lost.
Why Micro Gallery Art Installations?
TCL strongly believes that art, which traverses many boundaries, brings people together and transforms lives. Regardless of race, language or religion, the impact that the arts have on each of us can be profound and hence our decision in creating this art installation.
The Canadian Library is a living memorial to honour Indigenous women, girls and children.
TCL strive to continue working with Indigenous peoples, with respect, humility and honour, to help fellow settlers understand the past, the present and what msut be done for the future.
We would like to acknowledge that this difficult but important project was inspired by Yinka Shonibare.