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HomeNewsThe Witness Blanket national exhibition to be displayed at UNBC

The Witness Blanket national exhibition to be displayed at UNBC

A national exhibit recognizing atrocities of the Indian Residential School Era will be making it’s way to Prince George.

The Witness Blanket, carved by Carey Newman, is a cedar-framed artwork, inspired by a woven blanket, and features hundreds of objects recovered from 77 communities where residential schools were located.

The Witness Blanket is currently undergoing conservation at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg after touring Canada for three years, so Newman and the CMHR have agreed to created a reproduction to bring the exhibit to more venues.

The exhibit was originally going to be displayed at the Exploration Place, but the delayed Grand Reopening, which was scheduled for June 18th, was delayed until this fall.

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Instead, the exhibit will be displayed at UNBC, in collaboration with the Lheidli T’enneh.

“The collaborative approach of bringing this national monument to Prince George really speaks to the importance and power of the art piece,” said Alyssa Leier, Exploration Place Art Curator.

“We are honoured to be able to showcase The Witness Blanket and are so grateful for the assistance of UNBC and the Lheidli T’enneh in helping us get it here.”

“As we take steps toward Reconciliation, we must continue to educate ourselves and others about the horrors of the Residential School system,” said UNBC President Dr. Geoff Payne.

“By partnering with The Exploration Place and the Lheidli T’enneh to display The Witness Blanket at UNBC, we hope it will encourage people to learn more about the atrocities that took place and the lives that continue to be impacted by racist, colonial actions.”

The exhibition will be available for public viewing in the Atrium of the Teaching and Learning Building at UNBC starting on June 18th, and will be officially opened by Lheidli T’enneh Councillor Joshua Seymour on June 22nd.

“Our nation is pleased The Exploration Place was able to bring the Witness Blanket display to our territory and partner with UNBC,” says Councillor Seymour.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people to better educate themselves about the dark legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools. The remains of at least 10,000 children lay in unmarked graves on the properties of former Residential Schools across Canada. We must never forget these kids and their families, and the Witness Blanket will help keep their memories alive.”

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