AFA acknowledges the second annual Truth and Reconciliation Day

Date: Sep 30, 2022

    By George Littlechild – 2007 – ink jet print on paper
    Collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts

    A message from Mary Rozsa de Coquet on behalf of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts

    September 30, 2022, is the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as “Orange Shirt” Day. This national day of sombre reflection both honours the children of Canada’s Residential School System and calls us to learn more about this dark and painful period from our history.

    The Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) encourages all Albertans to be more informed about the history and legacy of residential schools, and to explore the rich culture and artistic expression of Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

    At the AFA, we actively support Indigenous Arts as a unique, distinct arts discipline. We also collect artworks by Indigenous artists to preserve, exhibit and promote. I continue encourage our arts community to visit the AFA Virtual Museum and view the Indigenous collection ( as part of your learning and reflection on Truth and Reconciliation Day.

    Pluralism and Reconciliation

    Last year, the AFA developed a Pluralism policy to help us:

    • Advance equity, diversity, inclusion and access in the arts
    • Promote dialogue, understanding and vibrancy through the arts

    As articulated in our policy, the AFA’s definition of pluralism recognizes the sovereign rights of Indigenous Peoples and is taking steps to foster the ideal of pluralism which is “belonging”.

    Pluralism arts projects

    The 2022 cycle of the AFA’s Organization Activation Projects grant program will focus on fostering pluralism in the arts and through the arts. 

    Through this program, eligible organizations can apply for funding to support:

    • activities that support culturally-diverse arts practices and participation by historically underserved communities
    • activities that result in strategies and programs to enhance participation by a wider social demographic within the arts sector in Alberta.

    Organizations can apply for up to $20,000 for a project, or a partnership of two or more organizations can apply for up to $50,000 for a project. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2022.

    I encourage those organizations seeking to develop reconciliation arts projects and/or working with Indigenous communities on an artistic project to consider this funding opportunity.

    Land acknowledgement

    Finally, I draw your attention to the AFA land acknowledgement, the video can also be watched here.