Raising Reconciliation
Project info

The Reconciliation Pole, a totem pole carved in the traditional Haida style, honours the Indigenous victims of what many call a cultural genocide. Acknowledged by Canada's own government as an egregious violation of human rights, open dialogue about this dark period of history has triggered a process of intense grieving for Indigenous peoples. Haida artist Chief 7idansuu was commissioned to create the pole to honour the estimated 6,000 victims of Canada's residential school system, institutions designed to destroy the culture and languages of First Nations peoples. Children were forcibly removed from their homes and kept in boarding schools run by Christian churches. They were cut off from their ancestral roots and were physically and sexually abused. The objective was, as Canada's first prime minister said, "to take the Indian out of the child". Chief 7idansuu: "The pole is about understanding what has taken place, and the depth of all that, because you can't smooth the edges on it. We understand that, and we move forward together".