The Healing Garden - Kâkesimokamik
The Healing Garden Documentary
OCTOBER 26, 2017 - The City of St. Albert remains committed to community reconciliation with the release of a powerful documentary that showcases the development of The St. Albert Healing Garden – one of the first of its kind in Canada.
The vital teaching tool is one of several steps that will be taken to build and develop relationships with the Indigenous community, as well as to educate City Council, Administration and the public.
Opening and Celebration
SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 - After months of preparation and years of planning, The St. Albert Healing Garden officially opened to the public on Friday, September 15 with a spiritual pipe ceremony and celebration.
One of the first of its kind in Canada, the collaborative initiative between the City of St. Albert and greater community acknowledges survivors of Indian Residential Schools and provides a place of truth and reconciliation. St. Albert was home to two residential schools: St. Albert Indian Residential School (Youville, located on Mission Hill) and Edmonton Indian Residential School (Poundmaker, located about six km east of downtown St. Albert).
Official Pipe Ceremony and Sod-turning
MAY 10, 2017 - Construction of the community-led Healing Garden project has officially begun. A spiritual pipe ceremony took place on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 to prepare the site for construction. Located on the north side of the Sturgeon River, across from St. Albert Place, the garden will be a place of truth and reconciliation, a visible sign of the community’s commitment to walk in right relations with First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples and with all Nations.
A Healing Garden will be created in the spring and summer of 2017 along the Red Willow Trail across from St. Albert Place. The Healing Garden is being created in recognition and acknowledgement of the survivors of Indian Residential Schools in St. Albert. It is meant to be a therapeutic place of reconciliation that will bring awareness, education and cultural teachings to the community.
The Healing Garden is a community project led by a planning committee consisting of survivors of Indian Residential Schools, representatives from the First Nations and Métis communities, the United Church, the Catholic Church, the general community and the City of St. Albert.
It is to be a place of truth and reconciliation, a visible sign of our community’s commitment to walk in right relations with First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples, and with all Nations.
To create an accessible therapeutic sanctuary for survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and victims of abuse on a transformative reconciling journey. To connect with an entire community for heightened awareness, to learn and grow from trauma to triumph, through prayer, meditation, and cultural teachings.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
In March 2015, Edmonton hosted the last national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Truth and Reconciliation Report (TRC) was created as a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and strives to document the truth of the survivors, families and communities who were part of the experience. This has been an historic time for our country that will help us to pave a path for all of us to walk together with respect and mutual understanding.
The Healing Garden will be located along the Red Willow Trail on the Northside of the Sturgeon River, across from St. Albert Place. St. Albert Place is home to City Hall, St. Albert Public Library, Musée Héritage Museum, Arden Theatre, several artist’s guilds and visual arts studios. The building was designed by renowned architect Douglas J. Cardinal. Echoing the curves in the winding river, Cardinal’s building is typical of his nature-focused design. His Blackfoot and Métis background provided him with a clear vision for designing gathering spaces for communities. St. Albert Place is the centre of many of the City’s major events and celebrations.
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