The legacy project will be permanently featured on Nathan Phillips Square and will consist of a turtle sculpture called the Restoration of Identity and a teaching, learning, sharing and healing space.
The six-foot (two-metre) tall turtle sculpture represents many First Nation creation stories as it embodies Turtle Island, also referred to as Mother Earth. The turtle stands on a three-foot (one-metre) tall boulder, which will list the 17 residential schools that once operated in Ontario. Further project plans and a turtle sculpture replica were unveiled on Monday, July 29 during the IRSS Legacy Celebration.
The IRSS Legacy sculpture was developed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, specifically, Call to Action 82. It calls upon provincial and territorial governments, in collaboration with survivors and their organizations, and other parties to the Settlement Agreement, to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, residential schools monument in each capital city to honour survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.