Every Child Matters

Finding a Way Forward

Exhibit Schedule


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Past Exhibits

Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
Colchester East Hants Library – Truro Branch
02/03/2023 - 27/04/2023
North American Indigenous Games  (NAIG)
15/07/2023 - 23/07/2023
Fundy Geological Museum
26/07/2023 - 29/08/2023

To honour the Indigenous children who suffered and died in residential schools, to honour those who were taken from their parents, culture and families, we asked our rug hooking community to hook a mat designed by First Nations artists in the Maritime provinces.

We are truly grateful to the five commissioned Artists whose designs set us on this journey

Tara Francis NB, Gerald Gloade NS, Phyllis Grant NB, Lorne Julien NS and Noella Moore PE.

When we started this project in May 2021, none of us on the Every Child Matters committee had any idea of the scope of this project. We just wanted to help in some small way. A big thank you to the 49 rug hookers who created 66 rugs that have become the heart of this project.

After we displayed the mats at the RHGNS Rug School in May 2022 and saw the emotional response from the Artists, participants, members from the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre and visitors, we knew we had to share this exhibit with a larger audience. The extension of the Every Child Matters project is called Finding A Way Forward.

This whole project has been about supporting and providing continued awareness for Indian Residential School survivors and their families and the missing children who never returned home.

We hope to bring the display to various venues across the Maritimes or Mi’kma’ki as it is the ancestral land of the Mi’kmaq people. The rugs will then be dispersed back to Mi’kmaq communities through the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, the Native Councils and Band Offices.

Artist Information

Every Child Matters

Noella Moore

Lennox Island First Nation

Prince Edward Island

The shoes represent the missing children and that each and every child matters. The symbol on the vamp of the moccasin is the symbol for the Mi’kmaq people (L’nu). The orange border honours the survivors and missing children.

Flying Home on the Wings of an Eagle

Tara Francis

Elsipogtog First Nation

New Brunswick

It has been a privilege designing this piece in honour of all the children that were lost to the era of the Residential Schools. As the numbers keep coming in from the searches around the country, the outpouring of support from outside the Indigenous community has been very touching. I wanted this piece to reflect those numbers in an impactful way, having the children running back through space brings perspective and helps communicate the sheer amount of children we lost.  

Ancestors Watching Over

Phyllis Grant

Pabineau First Nation

New Brunswick

This art piece is a prayer and meditation. It expresses the ancestors protecting and surrounding the child in the afterlife. As we mourn, we pray they will all be found and brought home in some way.

Family Resurgence

Lorne Julien

Millbrook First Nation

Nova Scotia

Lorne’s subject matter for his paintings come to him through his dreams. His work is colourful and hopeful.

The Eagle represents “Love” and is the first of the seven sacred teachings. Your family’s love is the foundation for life. The double curved design symbolizes the Mi’kmaq Nation.

Lorne signs his work with Warrior because his Mi’kmaq name means Warrior on the Hill. 

Honouring Survivors and the Lost Children

Gerald Gloade

Millbrook First Nation

Nova Scotia

Gerald’s work highlights the hieroglyphics of the Mi’kmaq people. The figure represents the child(ren) who were lost, the four loop square represents the Mi’kmaq people (L’nu) and the star and medicine wheel/circle represent the healing and teachings of the Mi’kmaq Nation.