Remember the Children weaving project
The blessing of a collaborative textile piece
The Remember the Children weaving project was shared, and then blessed on Friday evening, in the year 2022, when the community at Sorrento Centre gathered at St. Francis chapel to honour the missing children from Canada’s residential schools and re-commit to a journey of reconciliation with our indigenous siblings.
Called Remember the Children, because each pass of weft represents one child who died at Residential Schools. This collaborative textile piece has been woven as a community at five different churches around the diocese of Edmonton and curated by the Edmonton Diocesan Indigenous Ministries team with the guidance of Alison Hurlburt. Alison had been on site all week, leading an Introduction to Weaving course here at Sorrento Centre, in the summer.
Finished in June of this year, one year after the discovery of unmarked graves in Kamloops, this project was an opportunity for people to pray and reflect while weaving together.
Alison explains, “It is around 12 yards long, representing approximately 8,000 children. The end trails off into a long fringe to represent that discoveries are ongoing and that we will never know the full extent of the loss.”
The bright patterned sections represent the various discoveries of unmarked graves in Canada. “The hope is that this will help people put last year’s news from Kamloops in the context of a larger loss of life, and give people something tactile to touch and see that will help them understand the massive scale of what happened.”
Earlier this year there was a dedication service for the piece at All Saints Cathedral in Edmonton with smudging, Indigenous teaching, and the sharing of stories. The hope is to continue to share the piece around to as many church and community locations as possible.