(Image 1) Illustration by Fallon Simard (@waasegiizhik)
(Image 2) Poem by Smokii Sumac (@smokiisumac)
(Content Warning: Residential Schools)
In 1971, Trinity Square Video opened its doors in downtown Toronto. The year before that (1970) the Mohawk Institute, the residential school nearest to us (according to the Shingwauk Residential School Centre and the CBC) closed after 139 years of operations. It’s troubling to recognize that during an inaugural year of growth and beginnings, our proximity to generations of loss, violence, and ethnic cleansing was both known and ignored.
Trinity Square Video is located on traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat and the Mississaugas of the Credit River. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant. This area, located in present-day Tkaronto (Toronto), remains the home and meeting place to many Indigenous people.
On September 30th, and all days throughout the year, we honour the children who were lost to colonial violence, the survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. It is critical, as an artist-run centre that values equity and diversity, that we continue to do the work of dismantling colonial powers and forming allyship with the fight for justice and sovereignty for Indigenous peoples.
Poem by Smokii Sumac:
day of mourning
day of learning
day of honouring
those ones who became our grandparents
those ones who
and so many
day of grieving
day of praying
day of witnessing
when we asked our Elders
“what is the word
in our language
there was only
let this be
a day of truth
Thank you to Fallon Simard and Smokii Sumac for contributing their artworks for this post.