Truth and Reconciliation
Semester-long senior exhibition piece, "Truth and Reconciliation," that was shown in the DeVos Museum on NMU Campus in Marquette, Michigan in April 2019. Featured below is my artist statement:
Is it true that you cannot move forward without learning from the past? I feel the United States Native American boarding schools have been ignored in history classes and as a result, students do not learn about their devastating effects on humanity. I became quite passionate about wanting to educate people who were also unaware of this shocking period in American history. I consulted professors of Native American Studies at NMU for my research and ideation regarding this exhibition piece. The purpose of this project was to be informative, while also calling to action the need to include topics such as this in our educational process and to further push viewers to realize the importance of truth, healing and reconciliation for boarding school survivors and descendants.
Three personal stories were collected from Native elders who gave me permission to feature their stories. The larger poster serves to inform viewers about the boarding schools–what happened at them, and the long-lasting impact they continue to have on Native communities. In addition, I have also included artifacts on shelves below each story that are personal to the individual and signify their Native culture.
I am grateful to NMU’s Center for Native American Studies, Warren Petoskey, Marilyn Morley, Tim Giago, Elizabeth Doxtater, and my advisor, Jane Milkie, for their assistance with this project. I encourage everyone to read the featured books for deeper insight into the lives of these extraordinary individuals.