Emily Carr closes to honor resilience and reconciliation process in Canada

It’s not generally expected that the topic of resilience and the discussion of trauma will shut down an entire organization. Yet, in Vancouver on September 20, 2013 one school – The Emily Carr University of Art & Design will – do exactly that.

This post is about:

* Canadians now refer to the original peoples of the continent, which you and I grew up calling Indians, and then aboriginals, as 1st Nations. On this part of the continent it is most correct both politically and culturally. 

The institute is closing down to honour its Aboriginal constituents, citizens of Canada who are now finding healing through the Truth and Reconciliation process. Some of the participants may also be students or faculty at this world renowned institution.

We thought that our readers, many of whom are veterans might find some interesting parallels in the process of recovery from trauma, even if outside the immediate PTS and PTSD from military duty exposure.

Details and credits appear in their press release below our introduction to you, our MilSuccessNet community.

Trauma and stress have proven responsive to both graphic and performance arts. Whether induced by life circumstance or the experience of traumatic scenes and activity of conflict zones, healing of the human life canvass and its positive expansion has come about through the personal care of humans tending to the creative expression of others and helping them be either creators of art with a new and broader brush or to enjoy positive personal advancement as participants or art appreciators in any art medium.

Does it seem strange to you?

Today, we’ve noted an art school and then the aboriginal people s’ formal, national conversation on Military Success Network. The latter seeks repair and redemption of abusive experiences of residential schools inflicted on them and their families.

As the Canadian and  the civilian on MilSuccessNet’s team, my view is that interesting ideas to help people heal or  to move forward in any capacity, can come from many points. After all, “We are in this,  together.”

Transition from one state of being to another may go through phases of upheavals and imbalance. In sending our note out to you today, we hope to have connected the understood benefit of art and most notably the stance of a leading art institution taking time out to honor the individuals in their community who might be struggling. With trauma and the need to speak of it out loud. With transition. With the need to be seen, to be heard and to express themselves to move forward with healing.

Change is universal and common to all peoples and their varied purposes. Ideally, our transformations move us to a more positive place within ourselves and in our life situations.

What better way than to have individuals and our communities, make time to H.ear U.nderstand and A.cknowledge where we are on our road to healing and to growth.

And now, on to the business of news and backgrounder:

For Immediate Release


A Celebration of Resilience – Friday, September 20, 2013

Vancouver, CAN, September 12,  2013  | Emily Carr University is proud to participate in events and exhibits that acknowledge the survival and resilience of Aboriginal people as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s National Conference, September 18 – 21, in Vancouver BC.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established to gather testimony and records surrounding the Indian Residential School system that operated in Canada from 1875-1996. Generations of Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their homes and communities and placed in schools, where they were forbidden to speak their language and practice their own culture. Many suffered significant abuse, and many died.

This event provides a historic opportunity to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools and their lasting effects on Aboriginal communities, and to work collectively in our communities towards a better future based on a common understanding of this shared history.

In recognition of the significance of the national conference, Emily Carr will suspend classes on Friday, September 20, to allow the University community to participate. This will be a day of celebration, contemplation and community-building and we encourage everyone to attend events on campus, and around Vancouver, to better understand the Aboriginal journey of healing and the power of Aboriginal art, culture and education.

“The journey to reconciliation has been complex,” says Brenda Crabtree, Aboriginal Program Manager, Emily Carr University. “The Truth and Reconciliation National Gathering events next week will serve an important role in educating the public about the history of Residential Schools as well as creating opportunities for people to share and heal.”

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, September 12, 2013
6-9pm – Concourse Gallery
NET-ETH: Going out of the Darkness – Opening Reception
This group exhibition features over twenty contemporary and traditional First Nations artists, among them are Indian Residential School survivors and their descendants whose work is a powerful testimony to their personal healing process. The exhibition will run through September 13 – 29, 2013, 10am-6pm daily.

Friday, September 20, 2013
8:30am – Concourse Gallery, North Building
Bannock and Tea/Welcome
Drumming/Singing featuring 3rd year student Lou-Ann Neel, Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation, and visiting Inuit artist Mathew Nuqingaq.

10:00am – Concourse Gallery, North Building
Drop-in cedar station, includes hands-on and cedar harvesting video
Sealskin glove sewing and qiviut spinning demonstrations with Inuit artist Lena Wolki

11:00am Lecture Theatre | Room 301, South Building
*Interdisciplinary artist and alumnus Sonny Assu, Liǥwildaʼxw of the We Wai Kai First Nation

2:00pm Lecture Theatre | Room 301, South Building
*Master Tahltan-Tlingit artist Dempsey Bob, LittD

*Both talks will be live-streamed.

Emily Carr’s Aboriginal Gathering Place will host programming throughout the day including a screening of the film We Were Children, and demonstrations/presentations by Mathew Nuqingaq, Inuit, Luke Parnell, Haida Nisga’a (MAA ’12), and Laura Wee Lay Laq, Coast Salish.

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About Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, established in 1925, is a world leader in education and research. Encouraging experimentation at the intersection of art, design, media and technology, our learning community merges research, critical theory and studio practice in an interdisciplinary environment. Alumni and faculty are internationally recognized as award-winning creators and thought leaders who have enormous impact on both the cultural sector and economy. We engage students, industry, and society to continuously explore and think differently about creativity and how it shapes our world.  Emily Carr is building a state-of-the art campus for 21st century learning at Great Northern Way. The University will be at the centre of a new social, cultural, educational, and economic engine for British Columbia. Find out more at

About the Aboriginal Gathering Place
Emily Carr University’s Aboriginal Gathering Place is a centre that reflects the cultural characteristics of our Aboriginal students, community and traditions. This space is dedicated to student projects, workshops, ceremonies and celebrations of the University’s Aboriginal community. The Gathering Place allows our Aboriginal students to develop and strengthen their identities in a supportive, safe environment. The design of the space is relevant to and congruent with Aboriginal philosophies and values.

For additional information, contact:
Roxanne Toronto, Communications Officer | 604.844.3075


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