Old Ottawa South Community Association

Justin Holness with traditional indigenous dancers.
Justin Holness with traditional indigenous dancers.

Moving Forward (with Telling the Truth)

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On Sunday, September 16, 2018, Trinity Anglican Church launched its new Bank Street mural—Telling the Truth: A shared journey toward Reconciliation Healing and Hope.

Sunday’s celebrations began with a traditional indigenous welcome song at Trinity’s weekly 10 o’clock service. Reverend Arran Thorpe presided and mid-way through the service introduced Justin Holness, rap singer and founder of TR1BE Academy. Together with guest indigenous dancers, Justin Holness performed “Woke”, a rhythmic rap song that was both stirring and hopeful in its lean but dramatic presentation.

Before performing Justin Holness spoke to the congregation at Trinity Church about the inter-generational trauma that has brought so much suffering to indigenous families and communities across Canada. He spread two red shawls over the railings on either side of the sanctuary and pointed to one and then the other emphasizing that one represented the past and the other, the present. The one representing the present was the consequence of the past and that with the guidance of the recommendations of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission we (both indigenous and non-indigenous) have this great and wonderful opportunity to move forward, to raise the level of our awareness, and to act accordingly.

Justin Holness shared with the audience the fact that his grandmother went to a residential school. “My grandmother and my mother are survivors,” he said. Justin also spoke about excellent indigenous role models like Murray Sinclair, member of Canada’s Senate and former Chief Commissioner of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, and Cindy Blackstock, an influential voice within Aboriginal, Social, and Child Rights communities.

Indigenous peoples are resilient and creative, said Justin Holness. We have models that inspire and give us courage. We need to discover and express what it means to be indigenous through art, music, and culture.

The mural at Trinity Church will be created from September 17-20, 2018. Everyone is encouraged to visit the mural on Bank Street near Cameron Avenue and meet the artists painting or other brothers and sisters offering stories, poetry, and music.

Update: Trinity Church will celebrate the unveiling of the new mural on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. after the weekly church service. All are welcome!

Mique Michell, a local Metis artist is the lead designer and facilitator for the mural Telling the Truth. Mique Michell travels across the country working with communities interested in cultural expression through art. 

Photos from Sunday September 16th's launch by Winnie Pietrykowski.

Trinity Church 18-09-16
Justin Holness and Rev. Arran Thorpe outside the front door of Trinity Anglican Church.
Trinity Church 18-09-16
The burning of sage (smudging), a ritual for spiritual cleansing/blessing.
Trinity Church 18-09-16
Justin Holness performing “Woke” with traditional dancers.

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