Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Every Child Matters Tablescape for Canada Day

 I have to admit that I struggled with Canada Day decor this year in light of the recent news regarding Canada's Residential School System.  

The only decorating I've done is to set this tablescape in honour of the many Indigenous children who lost their lives at these schools...and even that seems wrong as I know often these children went hungry.

I do not have the right words to convey the depth of my sadness when I think about what all the Indigenous children of Canada's Residential Schools must have gone through in their lives, many of them tragically cut short, and how it affected their families and the generations that followed.  We, as a nation and as citizens, can and must do better.  Let it begin with me working on my own attitudes and preconceived conceptions. 

I will walk you through the representation and symbolism I used in my tablescape dedicated to these lost children.

I used these metal houses to represent the oppressive Residential Schools.

These smaller houses with the lights on are where the families grieved their stolen children hoping for their return.

The lettered table runner represents the school curriculum.

 The colour orange, as seen in the tablecloth, placemats, napkins and plates is representative of the "Every Child Matters" campaign.

See "orange shirt day"

A teddy bear at each place setting awaits a lost child.

The hobnail glassware depicts the countless tears that continue to be shed to this day.

 The dark stain on Canada's history that the discovery of these unmarked graves has created is symbolized by the black-handled flatware. The metal charger plate symbolizes the abuse and suffering these children endured.

The flowers in the cups are those that should have been laid at the graves of the lost children.

Canada's flag is not waving in this tablescape but instead, lays near the side of each teddy bear as if to show it's shame.

There is a dark cloud over our nation this Canada Day and controversy over whether to even celebrate the day or not.

There definitely needs to be a time of reflection and acknowledgement of the wrongs that were done and those that continue to this day. In doing so, it is my hope that we can move towards a reconciliation with our Indigenous community. 

If you are unfamiliar with this topic please take the time to educate yourself.

 (Canada's Residential School System) 

(Unmarked Graves Found at Residential Schools)

 It is through awareness and growth that we can begin to change our attitudes and behaviours. 

I wish you a safe and peaceful Canada Day.

Thanks for visiting!

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  1. lectrice française, je n'ai entendu parler de ce drame que très récemment .Tout d'abord dans la série de Netflix "Anne avec un e", puis aux infos de la télévision française. C'est dramatique ! Mais malheureusement je crois que toutes les nations ont dans leur passé des événements dont elles ne doivent pas être fières !
    Et actuellement mes pensées vont vers toutes ces personnes qui souffrent ou décède de cette chaleur insupportable que subit l'ouest du Canada actuellement;
    Très bonne journée

  2. Your Canada Day tablescape is both lovely and very thoughtful, and your explanation of the symbolism in the pieces you used to create it is very timely for all Canadians, especially today. While it is important to remember and celebrate the positive aspects of our country, it is equally important to acknowledge and admit when things have gone badly wrong. Thank you for sharing a meaningful way to celebrate July 1st.

  3. I love your Canada tablescape and it's symbolism honoring those lost children whose lives were so tragic...It breaks my heart...Every Country seems to have such dark moments....The plight of the Indigenous people in both our Countries is a hard one and one that definitely they should not have to bare....I pray things get better for them in both our Countries....Thanks for sharing....It was so meaningful!

  4. this made me day in our history

  5. What a thoughtful, sensitive and beautiful response to the recent discoveries. Thankfully the world has changed. I pray for healing.

  6. I am not familiar with this tragedy. Heading over to the links now. Thanks for sharing. Very sad. Your symbolism in the tablescape is en pointe.

  7. AnonymousJuly 02, 2021

    Very thoughtful and well done.

  8. The thought felt symbolism in every detail of your tablescape had me in tears, Lori. Absolutely beautifully done! I thought our nations televised Canada Day tribute was well done, all things considered. I am heartbroken and so dang angry as more and more stories are unfolding.

  9. AnonymousJuly 02, 2021

    Hi Lori

    Sometimes there are no words we simply bow down and lament. My heart is sad for our indigenous sisters and brothers. I was very moved by how you used something I enjoy so much and turned it into a teachable moment. Your reflection was sensitive and powerful. Blessings

  10. Your tablescape was well thought out and very much honoured the dear lost children in our nation. I too had a difficult time whether to celebrate the holiday or not. I did not decorate but rather reflected upon all the sadness and loss in our country at the moment. It is heartbreaking and it grieves me to think there will probably be more to come. We had a lot of rain the past number of days and it was as though they were tears from heaven. Praying for healing in our land of Canada!

  11. This was such a sad occurrence and I grieve for these children along with all of Canada. Thank you for explaining the meaning of all the parts of your tablescape as it definitely increased the impact. My prayers are with all the families of lost children and other who care.

  12. Happy Canada Day but yes, I see what you mean... The tragedies both of our countries inflicted upon Native Americans is terrible. Why European settlers believed that other peoples weren't "people" is honestly mind-boggling. It's so sad what happened to all the children. I know when the "Indians" were rounded up here in the USA, the children weren't allowed to speak their native languages, were taken away from their parents and sent to only-English speaking schools and suffered similar tragedies (I imagine) to what the children in Canada suffered. A black spot on our shared histories...

    Sending love to their families and descendants, <3
    And sharing your story at Share Your Style #309 for everyone,
    Barb <3

  13. I believe this is the first time a tablescape has brought me to tears. It is beautiful and the message is so important. Our countries can and absolutely must do better! You are absolutely right, awareness is the key and using your platform to further that is crucial. Thank you so much for this important post!


  14. Lori, the symbolism and emotion you have put in this tablescape is so moving. I was devastated to learn that the residential schools I was told helped the Indigenous children were actually terrible places that ruined and ended so many young lives. We have much to do to improve the lives of the Indigenous population, and your post highlights the work that needs to be done to help the survivors and improve conditions for Indigenous people everywhere. I'm featuring this post at Hearth and Soul this week. Thank you for highlighting the issue in such a moving and thought-provoking way.

  15. Where did you get those tedy bears, please? I really like the idea 💗

    1. Hi Zuzana, the teddy bears were from the Dollar Store a few years back. ~ Lori

  16. Where did you get those tedy bears, please? I really like the idea 💗


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