Fostering Remembrance and Reconciliation Through an Arts-Based Response

  • Jenny Kay Dupuis
  • Kristen Ferguson Nipissing University
Keywords: residential schools, reconciliation, drama education, arts education, genocide studies


This paper presents the results of study about an urban high school in Ontario that performed a stage play that portrayed the legacy of the Indian residential schools in Canada. We wanted to know the impact this arts-based response had on teachers and students. From the data that we obtained from focus groups, we identify four learning outcomes of the legacy project: reflection on knowledge and identity; fact-finding through the processes of respecting memory; using the arts to remember; and broadening perspectives: remembrance (memory), reconciliation, and memorialization. Our research can assist educators and researchers to implement an arts-based model that honours and respects residential school survivors and their families.

Author Biographies

Jenny Kay Dupuis
Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis is an Ojibway/Anishinaabe educator, and community researcher who is currently the Aboriginal Liaison for Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. As a leader in the community she supports various programs and research initiatives across Canada focusing on topics pertaining to Aboriginal education, leadership and diversity, inclusion, and the importance of relationship building today.
Kristen Ferguson, Nipissing University

Dr. Kristen Ferguson is an Associate Professor of Education with the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University, in North Bay, Ontario.  Her research interests include Drama, Language Arts, and literacy for all.