The Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports 3,200 children died in residential schools, but believes the number to be double that.
Now the Royal Winnipeg Ballet believes its ballet production, Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, “will be a poignant tribute to the efforts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and we aspire through dance, to be an agent of change.”
The touring production of the ballet opened in Ottawa this week, and will be in Vancouver on Apr. 7, 8, 9 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Other B.C. dates are scheduled in Victoria, Kelowna and Nanaimo.
The production is a “representation of the many stories, both told and untold, by Indian residential school survivors and their families”, says the ballet company, the first and oldest in Canada.
The story was written by award-winning Canadian author Joseph Boyden, who is Anishnaabe, Irish and Scottish. “I think stories, I think novels, I think film, I think dance, I think painting, all of this allows Canadians to absorb not just the pain and the anger but the beauty as well,” said Boyden, who was recently appointed to the Order of Canada.
As the Trudeau government prepares to implement all 94 calls to action presented in the TRC’s final report, Going Home Star is receiving praise from its audience.
Established in 2008 as a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, part of the TRC’s mandate is to “guide and inspire Aboriginal peoples and Canadians in a process of truth and healing on a path leading toward reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.”