In May 2019, the Art of Reconciliation was conceptually created by Art Therapist, Debbie Douez, and Tanya Clarmeont from the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. Over the course of several months, Tanya and Debbie led a series of community consultations and individual meetings with local members of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, potential partners and numerous community leaders in the township of Esquimalt. Many of those dialogues went on to inform the project structure and the importance of ensuring all participants get a strong grounding in Indigenous and colonial history. A vision for the project was created.
To create impactful public art exhibitions grown from dialogue and deep reflection to act as a springboard for Reconciliation in our communities.
During the consultation process, a research partnership was created with Dr. Frederick Grouzet from the University of Victoria’s Centre for Youth & Society. This partnership led to a successful Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant application and facilitated the documenting of participants’ experience and impact on communities.