Ascension Sr. Youth Project: Faceless Dolls Blanket

About the Project
This blanket was created by the Senior Youth Sunday School Class. It represents both our stand against violence and our journey toward reconciliation and healing of our relationships with the indigenous peoples of this land. The purpose of the blanket is to begin conversations around how our community may participate in this healing. The colours and symbols were carefully chosen for their significance. Important are the faceless dolls—each created by one of the senior youth, they represent either themselves or someone they know who has been impacted by violence as a sign of honour and respect. Displaying the dolls on one blanket represents a united front against violence and hope for the future where healing takes place.
The idea for the dolls came from the Faceless Dolls art project created by the Native Women’s Association of Canada to commemorate murdered indigenous women and girls.

The Faceless Dolls Blanket: Symbols and Meaning
This blanket represents our stand against violence and our journey toward reconciliation and the healing of our relationships with the indigenous peoples of this land.  We hear God’s calling revealed through the prophet Micah and God’s promise revealed through the prophet Isaiah. We are guided by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Each youth has created a faceless doll to represent either themselves or someone they know who has been impacted by violence. For the later the doll is a sign of honour and respect. This is an adaptation of the Faceless Dolls art project created by the Native Women’s Association of Canada to commemorate murdered indigenous women and girls. Displaying the dolls on one blanket represents our united front against violence and desire for healing.

Identified on the circle surrounding the dolls are the seven indigenous sacred teachings of love, honesty, courage, truth, respect, wisdom, and humility and the fruits of the Spirit which are (again) love, but also: kindness, self-control, peace, patience, faithfulness goodness, gentleness and joy. We strive to be shaped by these virtues.  The circle represents our interconnectedness. The colour green represents life.

The colours yellow, red, black and white come from the Indigenous Medicine Wheel.  The Medicine Wheel embodies many indigenous teachings including those surrounding health and the cycles of life.

Borrowing from the Primate’s address at the Sacred Circle event of 2012, we describe the journey we are on:  From the darkness of the Indian Residential Schools era and past treatment of indigenous people— represented by the dark night sky on the left side of the blanket—to light of the dawn sky of a new day on the right side. The gold and royal blue represent the presence of God in our journey and our lives.

The dove symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit and peace.  Strawberries are significant to indigenous culture representing peace and forgiveness. The words in the top right and bottom left corners of the blanket represent our responses to the call: apology and forgiveness, friendship, hope, the need to pray, listen, learn and heal, honour one another, care for each other and creation.

The purpose of this blanket is to begin conversations around how our community may participate in this healing together with indigenous communities.

—Ascension Senior Youth Sunday School Class

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