Art Exhibit On Display In Regina Focuses On Reconciliation, Calls To Action | CBC News


An art show being held in Regina features pieces from 94 students showcasing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.

Igniting the Spirit of Reconciliation is running until Feb. 29 at Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre

Darla Ponace · CBC News

· Posted: Feb 21, 2024 5:00 AM EST | Last Updated: February 21

Igniting the Spirit of Reconciliation is an art exhibit done by 94 students to showcase the 94 calls to action in art form. (Kaitlyn Schropp/ CBC)An art show running at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre in Regina started as a project for students from Balcarres community school and Vibank Regional school to express how they felt about truth and reconciliation.

Igniting the Spirit of Reconciliation is a visual representation of the 94 calls to action that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released in 2015. It features work from 94 students, who each were asked to make their own interpretation of one of the calls.

Holly Yuzicapi, a local artist, and Michelle Schwab, a teacher at Balcarres, were the founders of the project. It started in 2018 and has been building since then.

Yuzicapi is a Dakota/Lakota woman from the Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation in southern Saskatchewan. She said that the project isn’t just about making art.

“A lot of Indigenous people did not have a written language, so our history is documented in image,” she said.

WATCH | Regina art exhibit focuses on reconciliation, calls to action: 

Regina art exhibit focuses on reconciliation, calls to actionIgniting the Spirit of Reconciliation is a display of 94 artworks that represent the 94 Calls to Action from Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. The Neil Balkwill Civic Art Centre is hosting the artwork created by students from Balcarres Community school in 2018. The Art Centre will host the pieces of art as well as seminars until the end of the month.

Yuzicapi said the project was also about healing and students finding what spoke to them.

“Being an artist is powerful, because you get to pick what is powerful,” she said. “Every time I see that exhibit I am proud. Proud that it is out there, and proud that people are seeing it.” 

Yuzicapi said everyone taking part in reconciliation or thinking of participating in reconciliation is going to have their own unique journey. 

“There’s no cookie cutter way to get involved,” she said.

Father John Weckend from the archdiocese in Regina says he felt the exhibit was one way the archdiocese could bring awareness to what happened in residential schools. (Kaitlyn Schropp/ CBC)Father John Weckend, a priest with the archdiocese of Regina, said he felt it was important to bring the art show to the city so more people would see it. 

“It is a part of the education pieces that we as non-Indigenous people need to have,” he said. “The art work brings forth a lot of the incidents that the church was responsible for.”

Weckend said he felt it was one way the archdiocese could bring awareness to what happened in the residential schools. 

“Truth and reconciliation is an ongoing process,” he said.

“I hope that this will be a catalyst for further dialogue among people of both backgrounds.”

Weckend quoted Murray Sinclair, the chair of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, saying “it took us seven generations to get to where we are, and it will take us seven generations to get back to a normal state of relationship.” 

“I think we have a long way to go, but it is an ongoing process,” Weckend said.

Igniting the Spirit of Reconciliation is running at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre in Regina until Feb. 29.

The exhibit features 94 pieces by 94 students. (Kaitlyn Schropp/ CBC)ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Darla Ponace is a Saulteaux woman from Zagime Anishinabek First Nations. She was selected to be a part of the Indigenous Pathways program at CBC. She recently graduated from the University of Regina/ First Nations University of Canada with a diploma in Indigenous Communications Arts. You can email her at with story ideas.

With files from Kaitlyn Schropp

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