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'The Belonging Action,' 2011. Acrylics on crezone. 24ft. X 32ft. Harbour  Centre Parkade, Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver, BC. 

Ten young artists invited eighty other participants to reflect about their connection to belonging while looking back at the histories of migration of peoples and cultures to Coast Salish land since time immemorial. In 2011, this process took 6 months producing a 24’ X 34’ mural installed at Harbour Centre Parkade. Key knowledge holders such as Wayde Compton, Sit Tan Chao, and Lary Grant  were invited to contribute stories.  

How to move forward without looking at the past? How are we responsibility of learning our history?

Who’s lenses do we look at ourselves through? What are your people’s stories? Who decides who is welcome? Why is genocide still kept in silence? Do you feel welcome? These are some of the questions that followed after reflecting on belonging. 

Facilitators: Shadae Johnson, Rosa Owusu, Elaine Ng, Chrystal Sparrow, Mat Nordli, Josh Reigner, Sara Kendall, Nadia Chaney.

Lead Facilitator: Melanie Schambach 

 “I used to think that in Canada I will not longer be judged by my sexual orientation and that I will finally find acceptance among people like me. But the rainbow is not colorful anymore, this time I found discrimination and rejection due to my skin color, nationality, language, and culture.”

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