Huge work dedicated to the victims of Aboriginal boarding schools

This 12-meter work collects objects steeped in history, collected from 77 communities in Canada. Many of these were donated by former Frontier families, and others were collected from churches, former boarding schools, and government buildings, among others.

The artwork pays tribute to children and symbolizes their ongoing reconciliation effortsSays Aisha Khan, Executive Director of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

To us, this is important, because every Canadian has a responsibility to better understand the genocide that the indigenous people of Canada suffered. »

Quote from Isha Khan, Executive Director of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights

Children’s shoes are among hundreds of items included in this work.

Photo: Image courtesy of Kelowna Art Gallery

At the heart of the composition, we thus discover books, shoes, a door, pictures, a plait of hair, and pieces of buildings; So many things that each has a painful story to tell.

The last Indigenous residential school in Canada closed in 1996. It was the Gordon Residential School, located in Punishi, Saskatchewan. The Witness coverage Features a hockey trophy for Gordon Soldier Lady Hawks, 1996. Donated by Ed Peternos, a survivor from that residential school.

The installation is accompanied by a video that tracks Edraak Coverage. Thus, the audience has the opportunity to discover a synopsis of the film Glue the pieces backCreated by Team Master sculptor Carrie Newman.

The stories of survivors that the installation presents are heartbreaking and full of hope.Isha Khan mentions.

I think it shows the true intentions of the boarding schools – which were places designed to eradicate the indigenous languages ​​and cultures of Canada – while demonstrating the strength and resilience of the people who have been forcibly attached to these schools. »

Quote from Isha Khan

By watching these stories, we can ensure that the lessons of the times will never be forgotten, and that the steps we take today as a society to pursue reconciliation and decolonization are grounded in a deep understanding of how we need to change.

The Witness coverage Its copies have already traveled to many Canadian cities. The Museum of Civilization will receive the original work until next February.

You will see: When you enter the room, you are immediately absorbed by the power of actionsays Stephane Laroche, president and CEO of the Museum of Civilization.

Note that for the duration of this exhibition from Witness coverageMembers of the various Indigenous communities in Quebec and other provinces will have free access to the artworks, as well as to all exhibition halls of the museum.

You can also discover a file Witness coverage Through the new online platform (on the witness website).

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