My representation of the journey to reconciliation and healing between the Indigenous and European cultures is the idea that the journey starts with us. After listening to both Fatima and Julie lecture us about Indigenous culture and the wrongs committed to them, and after watching the powerful documentary “Muffins for Granny”, I thought of many ways I could represent a journey to reconciliation. I settled on the idea that I can make a change, even if it is just a small one. Although the painting itself is fairly simple in terms of how much is on the canvas, the idea is much more complex. In case it is unclear by the photo here, my representation is a medicine wheel with a mirror in the center. It also has the words “the journey starts with you” around the outside. This represents the idea that every person needs to be involved in the journey to reconciliation. Reconciliation starts with people talking to people and holding open conversations about what happened and how we can go about rebuilding trust. In order for hope to rebuild relationships we have to understand each other and be open about learning from one and other.
So, in order to show the building of relationships between cultures, I decided to take the Indigenous medicine wheel and my starting point. The medicine wheel is a very important idea in Indigenous culture. It is about the interconnectivity of all aspects of a person. Not only that, but it represents the balance of one’s life and the connections to the natural world. The four parts of the circle represent the mind, body, soul, and heart. Having all parts of this circle equal size, it shows that it is important to keep each part of you balanced in order to be at your peak health and happiness. I feel like by having the medicine wheel on my aesthetic, it represents Indigenous ways of knowing and their views on health and spirituality. Understanding this might help us understand how we can further connect and heal from the experiences of the Indigenous people. It might help us find ways to connect and share ways of healing from both cultures. We can find a way to use both Indigenous health views and European views to start healing from the tragic events.
The second part of my aesthetic is the mirror. Although it may be hard to see from the picture, the silver circle in the center is a mirror. I placed it in the middle to represent you, the person looking at my project. Many people understand that there is a harmed relationship between the Indigenous and European cultures. They also understand that we need to heal and regain trust in our relationship with the Indigenous people for everyone to feel like they belong here and that they are welcomed here. The only thing is, most do not do anything to start the mending of this relationship. They just think it’s not up to them to create healing, that it is someone else’s job to repair the relationship. I think it’s important for people to understand that any person can start the journey to reconciliation. If you are the person that knows we need to rebuild this relationship, then you should try, because if we all think it’s not up to us, then the relationship will never change. So, what I am trying to portray is that it is up to the person staring back at you in the mirror to start making the change towards healing and repairing relationships.