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Weengushk International Film Festival announces Blanket of Stars: A Tribute to Resilience

July 11 @ 8:00 am - July 12 @ 5:00 pm

100 Residential School Warriors will gather July 11, 2024 on Manitoulin Island for a profound and symbolic procession

Manitoulin Island – March 20, 2024

In an ambitious move to honour the legacy of Residential School Warriors, the Weengushk International Film Festival announces the poignant event Blanket of Stars: A Tribute to Resilience, scheduled for July 11, 2024 on Manitoulin Island. 100 Residential School Warriors will gather on Manitoulin Island for a profound and symbolic procession across the iconic swing bridge to be met by 100 Indigenous youth. This meaningful act represents their long journey and serves as a welcoming home. This bridge, which physically connects communities, will metaphorically represent the bridging of past and present, acknowledging the long road these survivors have travelled.

This event aims not only to pay homage to the indomitable spirit of the warriors but also to foster a broader dialogue on healing and reconciliation.

Following the procession, attendees are invited to a conference at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre. This conference will delve deeper into themes of resilience, history, and the path forward, facilitating discussions that resonate with our collective mission to create a lasting impact that honors the past, embraces the present, and builds a future rooted in reconciliation and respect.

In an effort to ensure the participation of those at the heart of this event, local Residential School Warriors are especially encouraged to register for both the walk and the conference. Registration is open at blanketofstars.ca, a platform dedicated to making the involvement process seamless for warriors and supporters alike.

Dr. Shirley Cheechoo C.M., founder of the Weengushk International Film Festival, reflects on the initiative, stating, “Our vision with ‘Blanket of Stars: A Tribute to Resilience’ extends beyond a single day. We are laying down the groundwork for lasting understanding and mutual respect through shared stories and experiences.”

Nano Debassige, Board Chair, emphasizes the role of community support: “This endeavor is a collective journey. As we gather to honor the resilience of those who have suffered, we also look to the broader community to join us in this crucial dialogue towards healing. Your support is instrumental in making this vision a reality.”

To realize this ambitious project, the community’s involvement and support are crucial. We have launched a GoFundMe campaign to gather the necessary funds to bring “Blanket of Stars” to life. The funds raised will be instrumental in honouring the Residential School Warriors with ceremonial star blankets, hosting enriching cultural workshops, and ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive experience at the post-procession conference.

Everyone is invited to contribute to this meaningful cause and help make Blanket of Stars: A Tribute to Resilience a success, by visiting the GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/fund-blanket-of-stars-event.
Event and Conference Details:
Date: July 11 and 12, 2024
Location: Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Activities: Symbolic walk, cultural workshops, storytelling sessions, star blanket ceremony, and conference

For more details, registration, and to support our cause, please visit: blanketofstars.ca

This initiative is a call to action for all of us to contribute to a narrative of healing, respect, and unity. Join us in making a difference.

Media Contact: Damien Nelson, [email protected]

Our mailing address is:
78 Westlake Avenue, Toronto, Ontario


July 11 @ 8:00 am
July 12 @ 5:00 pm