Nimble fingers are about to be put to work in the name of reconciliation.
The University of Northern British Columbia launched a campaign Wednesday to have 1,000 origami ravens made this year to symbolize a university-wide wish for reconciliation.
It's in partnership with UNBC's First Nations Centre and will be centred at the Gathering Place where students, faculty and staff will have opportunity to make the creations. Once completed, they will be displayed prominently at the university.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for our University community to engage in a meaningful hands-on activity that we hope will spark dialogue around the challenging topics addressed in the Truth and Reconciliation report," said UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks.
"This is another step the University is taking towards reconciliation including campus Indigenization projects and engaging dialogue with local and regional communities."
The raven is an important symbol, considered a trickster that inadvertently teaches us life lessons. In a creation story, the raven stole the sun and brought light to a dark world, and will now help us bring light to reconciliation.
In turn, an ancient Japanese legend promises anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted one wish. As a mystical or holy creature, the crane is said to live for 1,000 years. In some stories, it is believed that the 1,000 origami cranes must be completed within a single year for the wish to be granted.
"The building of each raven is not an easy task, but the process of reconciliation is not easy either, knowing that the end result will be beautiful both in the wish and the ravens," said Bev Best, UNBC manager of aboriginal student engagement.