Honouring the Children Grant

On June 2, 2021, Calgary Arts Development made a statement announcing that we have designated up to $75,000 of our ArtShare Program funds to support artistic projects in memory of the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. That announcement can be found at calgaryartsdevelopment.com. Since that time, there have been many more recoveries of unmarked graves at residential school sites across Canada, and as efforts increase to search these sites, there will be many more to come.

Our commitment at Calgary Arts Development is to build good relations with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) based on mutual respect, to listen deeply, and to dedicate intentional funding for FNMI art and artists. It is all of our responsibility to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and to work to reverse systemic racism against Indigenous people amidst the ongoing devastation and trauma of these discoveries.

With the support of our Indigenous Advisory, we have now named the $75,000 funding pool the Honouring the Children Grant. Though this program was created in response to the children found in Kamloops, we recognize the impact of residential schools on all Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island. This program is specifically for Indigenous artists or Indigenous arts organizations who live and work on Treaty 7 territory, to support artistic projects responding to, honouring, or in memory of the loss of life, culture, ceremony, and language amongst the original peoples of this land because of the residential school system.

Additional resources we have used to learn about the history of residential schools in Canada, and our responsibilities, include Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, The City of Calgary’s White Goose Flying Report, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action specifically #83, and #71-76, and Calgary Foundation’s Indigenous Ally Toolkit.

To learn more about the schools located near Calgary (known as Moh’kinsstis in Blackfoot), use this interactive map of residential schools in Canada. These include the Sarcee Indian Residential School, the Dunbow Industrial School, the Morley Indian Residential School, the St. Barnabas Indian Residential School, the Old Sun Residential School, and the Crowfoot Indian Residential School.

A 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line offering support services and crisis referrals is available at 1.866.925.4419 for former residential school students and their families.

Application Process

Applications to this program are ongoing, and there is no deadline to apply. The application process, requirements, and funding decision will be developed through conversation between program staff and applicants.

If you are an Indigenous artist or Indigenous-led arts organization based in Treaty 7 territory and would like to apply for these funds, please contact Sable Sweetgrass at sable.sweetgrass@calgaryartsdevelopment.com to discuss your project.

Questions

Please note that Calgary Arts Development staff are continuing to work remotely. If you have any questions about this fund or other grant opportunities, please email grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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