Stained Glass Window Dedication Ceremony - Inuit Elder Sally Webster

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Transcript: Inuit Elder Sally Webster

Greg Rickford: I would now like to ask Inuit elder Sally Webster to lead us in a prayer to close the ceremonial portion of today's event. Sally Kate Webster was born in a land near Baker Lake, Nunavut. In 1956, the federal government started a school in Baker Lake and at the age of 11, Sally started school. At age 16, Sally started her career as a classroom assistant in Baker Lake. Sally later worked as the ladies' group coordinator for Arctic College, Baker Lake campus and at Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association in Ottawa. Sally is also an entrepreneur, having operated the Baker Lake Fine Arts and Crafts where she coordinated and promoted the fine art of the women of Baker Lake. As an elder, she is often consulted for her expertise in Inuit art and culture. I now invite elder Webster to provide the closing prayer.

Elder Sally Webster: Thank you. Before I say a prayer, I worked with the elders up north in Baker Lake. The ladies of 35 would do the wall hangings, print making or carvings. I would ask one of the elders, when they come, their artwork when they come in, I said, "What is it about?" I can see it already, but when you ask the question to the artists, they tell you more stories that you didn't – you didn't think of. This is the same thing. Artist Christi did the artwork here. What I'm going to do is the prayer in my own language. I'm going to pray about the residential school survivors and who have passed on and also the teachers who were teaching before.

Our Heavenly Father, if they say sorry, he already forgiven them, but I'm going to pray for the people who are survivors right now because they have gone through a lot. If I try to say it in English, it's not going to come out the way what I want to say, a prayer. It has to come from my heart. Thank you. Thank you, Heavenly Father.

(Prayer in native language). Amen. Thank you.

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