The Art of Reconciliation is a 2-month program that takes place virtually and on the traditional territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən People (Songhees and Esquimalt Nations) and the WSÁNEĆ First Nations.

The Art of Reconciliation project explores how young adults feel about reconciliation and helps them express those feelings through art. Some of that artwork will be created for the general public to interact with and possibly inspire them to reflect on their own feelings about reconciliation as only art can do.

Benefits to Participants

  • $250 honorarium provided for the completion of the program and participation in the documentation.

  • Work with skilled Indigenous & non-Indigenous mentors and teachers.

  • Receive valuable training about art making, reconciliation and Indigenous justice.

  • Showcase artwork at a public art exhibit.

  • Receive a certificate of completion and be publicly recognized for your contributions to the program.

This opportunity would be an asset to young adults considering a career in social justice, diversity and inclusion, arts and culture, Indigenous leadership and/or education.

Supplies Provided

All art making materials will be provided free of charge thanks to our program sponsors. No prior art making experience is required but it is certainly welcome.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous Young Adults

All cultural backgrounds are welcome.  Participants will be selected to ensure equal representation.  Organizers will take extra care to reach out to communities who tend to be underrepresented through our participating partner organizations.  Participation is limited to ages 18-29, living in the CRD and Greater Victoria area.

In Person and Virtual Sessions on Zoom

Program sessions start September 15th and will take place in person and over zoom, see detailed schedule below.  Final art works are due November 4th for a show at the Victoria Arts Council main gallery on Store Street and will be on display until November 27th.

Zoom links will be provided to participants prior to the session.

Documentation and Reporting

We are documenting this project to share with other communities who may want to lead their own versions of the Art of Reconciliation. Documenting the project will show why more reconciliation-based programs are needed and the impact of these activities.

Participants will be invited to document and report their attitudes, thoughts and feelings around reconciliation throughout the program. The University of Victoria will oversee the collection of this material and comply with the Human Research Ethics Board.

Workshops and Circle Sharing

Program Orientation

Participants will come together, introduce themselves and share attitudes & beliefs about reconciliation. The research element of the program will be discussed.

Learning About the Lək̓ʷəŋən Territory

Representatives from the Songhees & Esquimalt Nations will share their unique history and stories.

Picking Up the Pieces:
The Making of the Witness Blanket

Participants will watch Picking Up the Pieces, a documentary produced by Carey Newman. A discussion will explore the power of using art to deal with complicated themes of reconciliation.

Supportive Art Making

Led by Debbie Douez, art therapist, these sessions will help participants unpack and explore their attitudes and ideas around reconciliation as the program unfolds.

Understanding Indigenous &
Colonial History

A common understanding our of shared history will be shared by the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. There will be open discussion and time for Q&A.

Art & Exhibit Creation

Participants will work with a facilitator to learn more about art making and how to curate an art exhibit for the public.

Program Schedule (Fall 2022)

Thursday September 15th

Orientation and Circle Sharing
Location: Victoria Native Friendship Center
Time:  6:00 – 8:30pm
In this first in person session, participants will get an overview of the program, will learn about the importance of the circle in Indigenous culture and how to self locate (an Indigenous way of introducing ourselves), and will have time to get to know one another.  Participants will pick up their program kit.

Saturday September 17th

Indigenous Peoples
Location: Victoria Native Friendship Center
Time: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Lunch is provided

Welcome and Smudging Ceremony (8:00 am)

Cultural Safety with Tanya Clarmont (9:00 – 10:45 am)
In this workshop, Tanya will lead participants through a cultural safety workshop to help establish a feeling of safety for all participants.

Break (10:45 – 11:00 am)

Local Lekwungen History and Culture (11:00 – 12:15 pm)
A representative of the Songhees Nation, will share stories about their family, their Nation, and culture.

Lunch  (12:15 – 1:00 pm)

Metis Culture and History with Patrick Harriot (1:00 – 2:15 pm)
Patrick is the Metis Minister of Culture, language, and heritage for the Metis Nation of BC.  He will teach participants about who Metis People are their culture and traditions and the unique issues they face as Metis people.

Break (2:15 – 2:30pm)

Group Art Therapy Session with Art Therapist, Debbie Douez (2:30 – 4:30 pm)
In this session, Debbie will introduce art therapy as a practice for helping us process what we learn and experience in this program.  Participants will explore their feelings about reconciliation and participate in a sharing circle to help process their experience.

Tuesday September 20th

Group Art Therapy Session with Debbie Douez
Location:  Zoom
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
In this session, participants will process what they learned about Indigenous culture, people, and heritage.  They will participate in a sharing circle to help process their experience and deepen their learning.

Thursday September 22nd

Documentary Film Viewing and Discussion
Location: Victoria Native Friendship Center
Time:  6:30 – 9:00 pm
In this session, we will watch “Picking up the Pieces”, the making of the Witness Blanket by artist and Director Carey Newman.  This session will be facilitated by Debbie Douez and a special guest (TBC).  The film addresses residential school history and it’s affect on Indigenous Peoples and how difficult themes can be transformed into powerful artistic statements.  Participants will process what they learn in an art therapy session following the viewing

Saturday September 24th

Preparing For Final Artwork
Location: Victoria Native Friendship Center
Time: 9:00 – 3:15 pm

Welcome (9:00 -9:30 am)
Why we show our work to the public, upcoming exhibition schedule

Presentation “Themes Materials and Artist Statements” by Debbie Douez (9:30 – 10:30 am)
In this presentation Debbie will discuss the many different art materials and techniques participants can use and their impact on project theme and context.  She will review how artist statements can be used as a complimentary tool to accompany their work.

Break (10:30 – 10:45 am)

Art Therapy and Circle Share (10:45 – 12:30 pm)
In this session, participants will explore some of their preliminary ideas through an art therapy exercise and process what they discover in circle.

Lunch (12:30 – 1:15 pm)

Guest Artist Workshop / Presentation (1:15 – 2:30 pm)
Details TBC.

Break (2:30 – 2:15 pm)

Victoria Arts Council Exhibition Discussion and Q&A with VAC Executive Director Kegan McFadden (2:15 – 3:15 pm)
Victoria Arts Council exhibition discussion and Q&A with VAC Executive Director Kegan McFadden.

Tuesday September 27th

Anti Racism Workshop with Angelique Bulosan
Location: Zoom
Time: 7:00-8:30pm
Angelique leads this anti-racism workshop to help us explore our experiences with racism in Canadian society and how to be an anti-racist.

Thursday September 29th

Group Art Therapy with Debbie Douez
Location: TBC
Time: TBC
In this group art therapy session, participants will process what was learned in the anti-racism workshop and share their experience in circle.

Week of October 3rd

Individual Check In’s with Debbie Douez and each participant
Location: TBC
Time:  TBC
Individual check ins allow for one-on-one time with Debbie to help address any questions or concerns participants may have regarding their final art piece.  Extra support is given to anyone not feeling confident about specific art materials or techniques.

October 13th, 20th, 27th  and

November 3rd

Group Check In’s
Location: Zoom
Time: 7:00-8:30pm
These accountability check ins are there to help address any issues that come up for participants as they work on their final art project and ensure everyone will meet deadlines.

Friday November 4th

and Saturday November 5th

Artwork Drop Off
Location: Victoria Arts Council’s main gallery,  1800 Store Street (Victoria)
Time: 12:00-5:00 pm

Saturday November 12th

Opening Event Ceremony
Location: Victoria Arts Council’s main gallery,  1800 Store Street (Victoria)
Time: 2:00 pm

From November 12th  to

November 27th 

Location: Victoria Arts Council’s main gallery,  1800 Store Street (Victoria)

Date TBC

Closing Circle

The Art of Reconciliation is a 2-month program that takes place on the traditional territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən People (Songhees and Esquimalt Nations) and the WSÁNEĆ First Nations.