SK Arts joins with the full community in expressing our deep sorrow following the discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the site of the Marieval Indian Residential School, which was in operation in Saskatchewan between 1899 and 1997. We offer our deepest sympathies and respect to the members of Cowessess First Nation, many of whom have relationships with SK Arts, as well as to Indigenous peoples across the province and the country. As we know from the testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this gravesite is likely only one of hundreds that will be discovered over the coming years.

With this acknowledgement, we honour the ancestors and children who have been buried here, missing and murdered Indigenous women and men, and the process of ongoing collective healing for all human beings.

We believe that the entire arts community can play an important role in helping Canadians – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – recognize and grieve the past policies and practices of our country. As a community that values culture, there is no world in which we would condone policies that could result in a cultural genocide. We know that the impact of these policies continues to resonate in our families, our communities, and our society.

SK Arts also recognizes our role in upholding and advancing practices that have ignored or disadvantaged the important artistic processes and worldviews of Saskatchewan Indigenous communities and traditionally marginalized groups. We are committing to a comprehensive review of all of our activities in order to include those cultures more fully. We have already begun this work with further training and deeper engagement processes for both staff and Board. We know that this will take time, but we are committed to an ongoing journey that helps our work further elevate and amplify the voices of Indigenous artists and arts organizations.

Jason Aebig, Chair
Michael Jones, CEO