TORONTO – A painting by Indigenous artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun in honor of Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be auctioned this month to draw attention to the intergenerational effects of the residential school system.
Titled “Indian Residential School, Leaving the Shallow Graves and Going Home,” the piece was commissioned by national asset management firm Dixon Mitchell Investment Counsel to mark what is also known as Orange Shirt Day on the 30 september.
Created in 2013, the day is meant to honor survivor Phyllis Webstad, who was stripped of the new orange shirt on her first day at boarding school.
It officially became National Truth and Reconciliation Day and a public holiday in 2021 after hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered at former residential school sites that summer.
All proceeds from the sale of the painting will be donated to the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, both of which are non-profit organizations that work to raise awareness of the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system, to support the survivors. and reconciliation efforts.
In creating his new work, Yuxweluptun said in a press release that his goal was to “depict children returning home in a spiritual form, thereby completing a spiritual journey and allowing their memories to be closed.”
The Vancouver artist, who is the son of residential school survivors and is a survivor himself, added, “It’s a painting of history, a record of how aboriginal people were treated and where we are. are now. It is a voice for those who have been forgotten, and their stories need to be told resoundingly.
The painting will be offered by Heffel Fine Art auction house in an online auction from May 25 to June 22.
Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, the contemporary art gallery that represents Yuxweluptun and other First Nations artists, also donated his commission.
Before the auction closes, the painting will go on public display at the Toronto and Vancouver locations of the Heffel Gallery.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 24, 2022.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version did not include a photo of the piece being auctioned and had an incorrect monetary value in the photo caption.