ESST 317: The Impacts of Worldviews

As a class we were fortunate enough to head to the Mackenzie Art Gallery and visit the Moving Forward, Never Forgetting exhibit currently on display.  This exhibit is host to a variety of artworks that provide a sense of the impacts of Residential Schools and Colonialism on First Nations people.  The works in the exhibit are powerful and invoke many different emotions as you walk through it.  My journey through the exhibit also sparked many different feelings.  For me the walk through the halls created almost a sense of sadness.  Sadness, in the fact that I felt hate in some pieces as I moved past them.  This feeling of hatred coming started me pondering “Are we moving backwards, instead of forwards?”, “Are the events that took place too hate filled that we can never out run them?”.  I felt concerned that for all I’ve learned and all I’m working towards, it may be out of reach.  For me, I’m working towards the creation of harmony.  In order to move forwards we need to let go of the hate and embrace each other in love.  I’ll admit that sounds a bit sappy, but it is the truth.  Harmony is the resolution, I do not ask that we forgive and forget, but I think we need to understand and remember what happened and work hard to ensure events like this never happen again.  This is true for all types of people, we need to accept everyone as human and embrace humanity as a whole before our futures can be realized.

Through the sadness I did feel a sense of healing even through the hatred.  A piece that resonated with me is one that is depicted below.  I was so enthralled with the works in the exhibit I forgot to get the name of the artist, so all credit goes to the artist for his work. This piece lifted that sadness and provided me with the moment I sought, serenity.  This artwork created many questions for me.  Not all emotionally charged I should add as well.  I had practical questions such as “How did he create the piece so the shadows lined up perfectly?” to thoughtful questions “How can we create harmony, instead of putting our “stamp” on society?”.

Fur Union Jack

When I looked at this piece I could sense the “stamp” that the settlers placed upon our First Nations people.  The imprint of the Union Jack on the fur lining of the structure showed me the impacts of worldviews on society.  What this sparked for me is that it is up to us, teachers of the current and future generations, to dispel the hatred and work towards that harmony.  We need to help remove the “stamp” placed upon First Nations people and help them move forward.  We also need to teach our students about these events and tell the true story, so we can never forget how worldviews have such a tremendous impact on our society and our future.


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Julie Machnaik
Julie Machnaik
March 12, 2015 5:44 pm

Amazing exhibit stirring up so many emotions with unique, meaningful artistic representations that literally take our breath away. David, your post tells the story of your emotions experienced – at first you felt such deep sadness, hatred…then you began thinking about how we must embrace harmony to move forward…then could sense the healing and serenity that filled the rooms…all while thinking about the “settler” stamp and imprint on the lives of First Nations people. We do need to move forward, never forgetting remembering that “Together We Are Stronger”.