News Story

NSU Bids Farewell to "Transformation Through Forgiveness" Statue

TAHLEQUAH, OK - Northeastern State University will bid farewell to the “Transformation Through Forgiveness” monument on November 7. A small closing ceremony at 8:30 a.m. will commemorate its stay at the University as well as offer a traveling blessing for its upcoming journey to North Carolina where it will stay at the capitol of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. It will be displayed at the beginning of the Trail of Tears.

Representatives of the Cherokee Nation and NSU, as well as artist Francis Jansen, will be at the ceremony. The community is invited to attend this free event.

According to an article by Blaine Smith of The Northeastern newspaper, the inspiration for the statue came to Jansen while visiting a marble quarry in Italy. “I was looking at this marble and saw the image of a Native American man lying face down,” said Jansen. “I was struck by it.”

The article also mentions how Jansen worked on the statue for nine months and in that time she developed a greater understanding of its purpose. “I knew it was a monument for forgiveness,” said Jansen. “We need a lot of healing in America, especially where there has been intense discrimination and injustices. It is through forgiveness that we heal emotionally. Through forgiveness we can start again, yet not forgetting where we’ve been.”

Northeastern was chosen as a “home” for the statue because of its affiliation with the Cherokee Nation and other Native American traditions. According to the article by Smith, Jansen worked closely with Carol Young and other representatives of the Center for Tribal Studies in deciding to place the sculpture on campus. Previously the monument had made its “home” at Southern Oregon University.


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