From CBC North at http://www.cbc.ca/north/story/nor-healing-fudning.html
Res school healing will take decades, and millions: Erasmus - June 2, 2006
It will take hundreds of millions of dollars more, on top of the $1.9 billion now set aside for native victims of residential schools, to properly complete the healing process, veteran native leader George Erasmus told an audience in Yellowknife Thursday.
Erasmus, now chair of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, said his foundation won't have enough money to finish the healing process it started, even with the $125 million it expects from the proposed residential school settlement to help fund community programs.
"Our final report suggests that what is required to complete the healing in Canada is an endowment of $600 million, and 30 more years of healing on top of what we can do with the existing money," he said.
Erasmus made the comments at an Assembly of First Nations-sponsored conference on the $1.9-billion compensation package passed by Parliament last month.
The compensation package provides money for as many as 86,000 aboriginal people who attended church-run schools. The so-called common experience payments release the government and churches from all further liability relating to the Indian residential school experience, except in cases of sexual abuse and serious incidents of physical abuse.
The Foundation, which spends about $60 million across the country, funds about 35 programs in the Northwest Territories.
Erasmus said the foundation will not fund any new programs, but concentrate on existing ones, and encouraged communities to start or continue healing programs on their own, even without money from the foundation.
Fontaine addresses concerns
Meanwhile, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said he sees better days ahead for aboriginal people, after years of frustration while seeking healing and compensation for the wrongs suffered in residential schools.
Fontaine was explaining the details of the agreement at the one-day conference.
He says the establishment of a national reconciliation and healing commission will also open many Canadians' eyes to the incredible hardship many natives of a certain generation went through.
"People know absolutely nothing, most often, about this experience," he said. "They don't know that residential schools existed, or why they existed, and the policy that governed the management and operation of these schools. And it's such a tragic part of our history."
Fontaine encouraged former students to apply for compensation. He told the group that benefits received under the deal would not be clawed back by Revenue Canada or territorial governments, and that the system will respond to people who have lost their education records or went to schools not on the official list.
"This agreement is fair, it's just, it's generous, and it actually fixes all of the things that were problems under the old system," he said.
Fontaine says the first payments, advances worth $8,000 to former residential students who are over 65, are being processed now.
Younger claimants can send in their forms in March of next year.
However, the deal must still be cleared by courts in nine jurisdictions, where individual abuse cases are being heard, and could be scuttled entirely if as few as five per cent of former students opt out in writing.
An art exhibition worth checking out if you are in Thunder Bay ... (Admission is $5 for Adults) ... From the Thunder Bay Art Gallery newsletter and web site at http://tbag.ca ...
THUNDER BAY ART GALLERY
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF ART EXCELLENCE 1996 - 2006
Norval Morrisseau - Shaman Artist
Organized and distributed by The National Gallery of Canada.
Dates: June 3 through September 3.
Included, among many more, are the three works below.
The Storyteller: The Artist and His Grandfather 1978
Diptych: acrylic on canvas 96.6 x 176.3 cm
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Gatineau Quebec
From The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa
The Gift 1975
Acrylic on paper 196 x 122 cm
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Helen E Band Collection
Untitled: Two Bull Moose
Acrylic on mill board 81.28 x 243.9 cm
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Gift of Carl Boggild
Norval Morrisseau - Shaman Artist
In order to prepare for this exhibition, I was privileged attend the show's premier in Ottawa in February.
As I surveyed the work selected, I was struck by one persistent thought: I was immersed in the achievements of a true innovator. Most artists are lucky if they manage in their lifetimes to extend the traditions they inherit.
Real originators are rare - so rare in fact, that they quite often are seen as the instigators, progenitors, founders of entire epochs which bear the impress of their accomplishments. One thinks, for instance, of Giotto, Michelangelo and Cezanne. Undeniably, one must now also think of Norval Morrisseau.
In so many personal ways, Morrisseau is an uncharacteristic hero, but his achievement - as so decisively demonstrated in this project - is the first of its scale ever accorded a Canadian Aboriginal Artist.
Greg Hill, the curator of the Morrisseau project reports, "Viewers encounter an intriguing plethora of images representing animals and plants of the earth, spiritual creatures inhabiting heavenly and underworldly realms, as well as ancestors and human intermediaries who communicate with the spirit world. Drawn from public and private collections in Canada, the United States, and Israel, many of these works have rarely been on view; some have never been exhibited. They include drawings, painted objects, and paintings - including early works painted on such unorthodox surfaces as birchbark and cardboard through to the intensely colourful and large-scale canvases that characterize his maturing form.
The show documents Morriseau's progression as an artist, charting the creative and spiritual journey that would contribute to his unique style of painting known as "Woodland" or "Legend" painting, now called Anishnaabe painting, of which he is the originator. In works that evoke ancient symbolic etchings on sacred birchbark scrolls and pictographic renderings of spiritual creatures, Morrisseau "reveals" the souls of humans and animals through his unique "x-ray" style of imaging: sinewy black "spirit" lines emanate, surround, and link the figures. Skeletal elements and internal organs are visible within the figures' delineated segments. Saturated with startling, often contrasting colours, such paintings appear to vibrate under the viewer's gaze.
This landmark exhibition affirms Morrisseau's reputation as a modern-day master who has achieved national and international acclaim. It also reminds us why this shaman-artist inspired three generations of Anishnaabe to pursue painting and print as a means to recovering their heritage."
Yes, Morriseau had his sources. Yes, he had influences that helped form and shape his vision. And yes, like any artist who has the daring to experiment, his output was at times irregular. His career of nearly fifty years has been marked by transformations. It is clear that Morrisseau was constantly engaged in the search for a visual language to support his evolving vision. And as one bathes in the intensity of colour that radiates from his surfaces, it is easy to ponder the therapeutic values that Morrisseau attributes saturated hues.
I am not qualified to speak to his shamanic participations, not being part of that Anishnaabe tradition, yet as one disciplined by 40 years of cross-cultural reference, and as witness to Morrisseau's achievements recorded here, I do not hesitate to lend credence to the assertion that all of Morrisseau's activity is marked with spiritual intent. Morrisseau's mature work is possessed of such a commanding assurance that it has become an idiom among successive generations. The gift of retrospective vision is that is allows us to trace the initiation of a pictorial vocabulary expressive, not merely of personal exigencies, but of an entire cultural ethos. When power, form, vision and vibrancy are lent to a people in such a way as to expand their identity, I am among the first to define that accomplishment as belonging to a spiritual realm.
At the National Gallery opening, already acknowledged as Grand Shaman of the Ojibwa and honoured with an eagle feather by the Assembly of first Nations, member of the Order of Canada and the RCA, Morrisseau was also one of the first artists to be inducted into The Royal Society: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada. This gesture, flowing from the highest level, accedes traditional forms of knowledge and the visual arts as a learned discipline. It was fitting that Norval Morrisseau, Shaman Artist, should be seen breaking through that barrier.
Norval Morrisseau - Shaman Artist is circulating only to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, and the National Museum of American Indian in New York City. The project boasts fully illustrated bilingual catalogues. A series of lectures and public activities will complement this exhibition.
Glenn Allison, Curator - Thunder Bay Art Gallery