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Returning Home by AaronPaquette Returning Home by AaronPaquette
I'm allowing free full sized download of this image. For those who need it you are welcome to it.

If you like any of my other work to purchase, it would be appreciated but is absolutely not necessary. This is my gift and now it's yours. Here's why:

This was painted for the survivors of the Canadian Residential School experience. For those who don't know, it was government policy to "kill the Indian" in children by taking them forcibly from their homes and transporting them to far away schools. These Schools were run primarily by religious organizations and many of the children were physically and sexually abused. They were forbidden to speak their own language and at the end of their experience were broken people with many unresolved emotional scars. My grandmother was one of them. This policy ended in the 1990's. Not the 1890's. The 1990's.

Every First Nations (Native) family has someone who was subjected to this purposeful abuse and the long ranging results are alcoholism, drug abuse, perpetuation of the abuse they suffered on the next generation, mental illness and so on.

Sometimes white society in Canada gets frustrated at the repetition of these facts. I guess it's a sort of "blame the victim" mentality and they wish Aboriginal people would just get over it. Of course, it is my most sincere wish that one day First Nations people heal and do get over the abuse.

But something that took hundreds of years to mess up probably won't be fixed overnight. It will take generations, and that's just the simple, unvarnished truth. White society should be outraged at their government. Locking someone in a room and allowing them to be molested by a man or woman of god for ten years might take more than an apology to make all right.

Anyway, it's kind of depressing information, I agree, so I'll leave you with the write up I created for this work.


The idea for this painting was to communicate safety, security, a return to tradition and traditional teachings. In essence, it was to be about healing. I considered the challenge it represented and in an instant this image appeared to me. A tipi lit from within, offering sanctuary against winterís chill. The warmth is so overpowering that it spills out through the skin, much like the glow of a person who has found a truth and lives by it, their own personal light shining out into the world offering hope to everyone. And better yet, there is a community here. No one is alone. In every home is a family, laughing, playing, dancing or praying. This is a good place to be.

Above the still and silent night hangs a full moon, lighting the way for travelers who are still out in the hills, showing them the way back to hearth and comfort. They carry burdens but will be able to put them down when their lonely journey ends. Watching over it all are the Aurora Borealis, our Northern Lights. Swaying, shining, the light of those who have gone before - our grandmothers and grandfathers - are holding hands, keeping the beat of the Round Dance. We watch this beautiful dance and are reminded of the old ways, the old teachings. We are reminded of our connection to heaven and earth, past and future. We are reminded to live here and now, in each otherís hearts.

Though the journey seems far, we are never alone. The spirits of the land surround us, the spirits of the sky watch over us, and the Great Spirit, our Creator, leads us to our greatest happiness. Itís hard to believe it when we are alone in the wilderness, but come home, be safe, be warm. Come home and rest. Come home at last, and heal.

Add a Comment:
LizzyChrome Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
As an ignorant American, I suppose I had some naive belief that Canada treated you guys better than our government did. Not quite sure why I would think that. In addition to the horrific abuse you described, simply the idea of those schools and their purpose is rather chilling. 

Anyway, I'm white, and I think white people need to shut up about minorities needing to shut up. 

Gorgeous picture. Your talent is amazing, and it must've taken ages to paint this. Damn. And I love the silhouettes in the illuminated tepee. The stained-glass-like style, and the intense colors, are just gorgeous. 
Marj37 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013

Your work is wonderful and thank you for adding commentary on each of the paintings.


Ilweran Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is not only extremely aesthetically beautiful, with its reassuring bold lines, the details of the almost lace-like trees in the distance, the contrast of the warm colours of the moon and tipi with the cold beauty of the winter...but it's also extremely touching, it really sends a powerful, beautiful message. Thank you so much for your art! Amazing work.
LegacyLeaver Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011
Wow - the luminosity is amazing! I'm Cherokee. Here in the US they did the same things, but it ended a long time ago. Forced "white school" & the whole bit. Your work is just beautiful, and meaningful to me as well! <3
TaraCochrane Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
This is so beautiful. Thank you for your wonderful work!
JudLorin Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
what a gift, thank you!

and also for your words I've never heard about this terrible things
aboriginals are never in the white people's news (however I'm far from Canada - different continent, different country and different problems in our society. but I can understand the unsolved problems).
Wolf-Daughter Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Professional General Artist
Your beautiful art sends out powerful messages! You put so much thought and emotion into your work. This image does give to the viewer what you put into it, a safe, warm, and healing energy. It gives me a very positive feeling. It's wonderful!
AaronPaquette Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you, and I hope your winter here isn't going too badly. believe me, when the warm weather hits you'll be more happy than you can imagine!
Wolf-Daughter Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Professional General Artist
anarchyrecoil Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2011
Beautiful and poignant.
AaronPaquette Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Professional General Artist
thanks, Casey
LDOTT Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very powerful. Thank you for such a wonderful gift. My family and I will cherish it.
AaronPaquette Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Professional General Artist
I am so glad.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
January 22, 2011
Image Size
13.8 MB


3,298 (1 today)
82 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/13 second
Focal Length
28 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Nov 24, 2010, 3:29:35 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.