Thursday, September 30 - 2021 - The first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation that honours the lost children, survivors, their families and communities that endured or died as a result of residential schools in Canada. Local events to honour the children and as a call to action to effect change in our system, our society and our minds are a small step forward on this day. The following is one such event.
A local author has taken the initiative to write a book of poetry with a portion of the proceeds to non-profit organization Remembering the Children Society of Red Deer. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Beverley Beckley at the Velvet Olive lounge in Red Deer along with Métis artist Pamela Hayward who is the creator of the cover art featured on the small book of poetry.
The Velvet Olive has a small stage where Beverley read to all of us in attendance her insightful and heartrending poetry, devoted to the memory of the children who were taken from their families and died as a result of residential schools. The emotion in the room was palpable. The intuition required to write on such a devastating history is great, and Beverley is standing up for the children and for reconciliation with a voice that speaks volumes.
Beverley is inspired by the work of Gord Downie and describes him as the poet laureate of Canada, and she also read out some of the lyrics from the album Secret Path, a relevant and insightful collection of music written by Downie. Beverley’s poetry is no less relevant and astute. The chapbook titled The Little Bones is a very inspired work.
Copies of The Little Bones are available by emailing Beverley Beckley directly at BevBeckley@gmail.com or by checking out the Facebook page The Red Dress Diaries Poetry Project. You can also view the work of artist Pamela Hayward on Facebook at PDH Art.