The Victoria Native Friendship Centre has unveiled an Art of Reconciliation mosaic inspired by the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
The mosaic was unveiled Tuesday (Sept. 26) at the Greenglade Community Centre and was designed by Coast Salish artist Dahlila Charlie from Beecher Bay First Nation. Charlie completed the design work in just over two weeks.
“I wanted to make it orange for Orange Shirt Day coming up,” Charlie said. “The design has a mama bear and a baby bear to represent the matriarchs in my family. They have been strong leaders. There’s also an eagle’s head that represents respect and a beaver symbolizing our ancestors building the foundation for future generations to keep doing the work that we’re doing.”
Orange Shirt Day, now known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, is taking place Saturday (Sept. 30).
“I hope people who see this art are reminded to be gentle with yourself this time of year,” Charlie added. “It’s not always easy, but you’re not alone.”
Charlie’s artwork was transferred onto 64 mosaic tiles and then painted and decorated at several free workshops.
“This is the second iteration of this project, which has been happening with different artists, cultural leaders, and in different parts of southern Vancouver Island.” said Ron Rice, executive director of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.“Of course, we encourage everyone to participate, to witness, and to contribute to reconciliation in many ways.”