Truth Art and Reconciliation

Truth, Art and Reconciliation: The Winds of Change Project

By Daniel Elliott with Caffyn Jesse

The “Winds of Change” series of watercolour paintings  by Daniel Elliott – a Stz’uminus Elder who is a healer and teacher in First Nations communities – depict the beauty and power of Indigenous culture and community, along with the ongoing trauma of colonization. This book includes all the paintings in the series, along with Elliott’s own story, and his powerful insights on the path of truth and reconciliation.

Elliott began studying watercolour painting as a young boy. He found that artmaking provided access to altered states of consciousness. Art became a crucial way for him to build capacity to live with purpose and choice, despite the intergenerational trauma, sexual abuse, family violence and relentless racism he experienced. He writes, “If you can access this alternate consciousness I have been describing, the consequences of trauma are not linear or predictable. Hopelessness is not inevitable. We can feel the grief, and understand the impact of ongoing violence, and stay with it long enough to choose the next right thing.”

In the introduction to Truth, Art and Reconciliation, Caffyn Jesse describes this book as “both challenging and comforting.” She says, “This book asks us to understand many dimensions of Indigenous trauma. It invites us to feel our own – and each other’s – traumas more intimately. It also opens new possibilities for healing, alternate ways of seeing, and transformative well-being.”

“You have and still remain a guiding light, a profound love - across dimensions and illusions of time and space - and a beacon of remembering 'what we are.' In me, You are a Calling Home.”
Mari Abraham
“You opened up a new doorway for me, about how I could be, what my life, my world and my community could look like. You are so powerful, so special - you show me what it means to be a teacher: fallible, full of flaws, and full of beauty, truth and power.”
Kai Cheng Thom
“You are a fiercely loving powerhouse of change and remembering - of the body, stories and erotic wisdom.”
Solanna Anderson
“It is especially important to me personally that you are holding a torch for erotic wellbeing and authentic sexual expression. It is so rare to know an elder who carries wisdom and hope to heal one of humanity's deepest shadows.”
Nijlan Rosalia Bastet
“I couldn't be more grateful for the grace, kindness, love, acceptance and empowerment that I've been shown and taught. I am left speechless when I contemplate the life I've lived before this work, and the massive change and transformation I've found as a result of engaging with this paradigm of relationship with my self and other selves. So thank you, from the depths of my soul, for being you, and sharing you.”
David M