Friday — July 30, 2021

The Community Story Tree

by: Lily Clarke

“The Community Story Tree” is a collaborative project put together by A Window Between Worlds, the Native American Resource Center, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and A Greater Hope. Cahuilla artist, Gerald Clarke, drew the outline of the tree on individual canvases, allowing survivors of child abuse and domestic violence to take a part of the tree and make it their own. When all of the pieces were joined together, it formed a piece of art that illustrates the unitedness of our Indigenous community. The tree is a symbol of life that expresses our stories and visions for a violence-free future. Each piece is different than the next, but they come together to tell the story of “survivors.” Community members used words like “healing,” “warrior,” and “hopeful.” The phrases, “we are resilient” and “we are deep rooted” mark two of the pieces. Just as the trunk of our community tree, we are rooted and we are resilient. The roots, bark, trunk, branches, leaves, acorns, and the sky embodies the 42 participants’ commitment to end child abuse and domestic violence.