Last Monday Canadian artist Cathy Busby unveiled her WE CALL murals at Hazelton First Nations High School.
The murals are a collection of abridged versions of the demands in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action.
The murals are located at the parking lot entrance and the lockers near it, as well as by the washroom.
The 94 Calls to Action are a list of actions the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada urged all levels of government to take in order to repair the harm caused by residential schools.
“The calls to action bring to light the ways our society can change to be more inclusive and just,” said Andrew Busby, a teacher at First Nations high and Cathy’s brother. “Maybe this art is necessary to point out what should be done and hold those people accountable.”
Cathy Busby and staff at First Nations high selected which actions to include on the murals based on how relevant they were to the school and the Hazelton area.
“One of the things I hope for is that people will think of the calls to action as something that could have meaning and impact in their lives,” said Cathy Busby. “Also I just want it to be a joyful thing.”
Cathy made a version of this work at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and decided to create one outside of the city after talking to her brother Andrew.
“This is a big art centre, there’s a lot artists based out of Hazelton [or] started here and moved on…So it made sense to come here,” said Andrew Busby. “We were looking all around town to find some place we could do the display and this turned out to be a really good spot.“
This project had been in the works for a year-and-a-half but things really went into motion once Cathy got a grant from the Canada Council for Arts in April.
Cathy worked on the murals for 10 days before its unveiling.
The murals will be up for at least a year afterwards. It’s up to the school whether they want to take it down or not.
“I hope [people will] experience this work in different ways,” said Cathy.” I’m imagining different words, ideas and colours standing out for [people] at different times. In my experience, at its best, art shifts the way we see and understand things.”