Where are the Children? Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools

Cape Breton University Art Gallery in partnership with Unama’ki College is honoured to host Where are the Children?, an archival photo exhibition that explores the history and legacy of Canada’s Residential School System. This educational exhibit will be on display at the Gallery from June 2 until September 16, the public opening is Thursday, June 2 from 2-4:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

The intent of this eye-opening exhibit is to acknowledge the impacts and consequences of Canada’s Residential School System on Aboriginal peoples; to create a public and historical record of this period in Canadian history that could be easily accessed by Canadians; and to promote public awareness, understanding and education of the history and legacy of residential schools. Through documentation, acknowledgement and education, the goal of the exhibition is also to assist in promoting understanding and reconciliation in Canada about residential schools.

“A widely unknown piece of Canada’s history is being shared through this important exhibition and I am very pleased that the art gallery is displaying it here on the CBU campus. At Unama’ki College, we are committed to supporting Aboriginal students and a key part of this is educating them on our history. This exhibit will not only evoke thoughts and emotions in Aboriginal people, but all Canadians.  The photographs and artifacts are impactful and I encourage all members of the community to view the exhibit,” says Lindsay Marshall, Principal, Unama’ki College.

Developed in 2001, the exhibit has visited more than 20 communities across Canada and viewed by more than 250,000 individuals.  The exhibit consists of 118 framed archival photographs, text panels, maps, original classroom textbooks and historical government papers selected from nine public and church archives.  The exhibition depicts the life of Aboriginal peoples before, during and after residential schools. Photographs from Atlantic Canada’s only recognized residential school located in Shubenacadie, N.S. will also be on display.

Two summer docents have been hired to help with exhibit tours. The Gallery is welcoming, in addition to individual viewings, large and small group tours as well. “It’s been a real pleasure working with Clarissa Sylliboy and Nikhea Bernard, students from Unama’ki College, to develop educational tours for the exhibition, and I really hope that people will take the opportunity to participate in a tour,” says Laura Schneider, Curator, CBU Art Gallery. “I cannot overstate the value of this exhibition as a learning tool in our community. We all have a responsibility to recognize this part of our history so we can better understand the challenges and strengths of First Nations communities in the past, but also today.”

Where are the Children?is presented by the Legacy of Hope Foundation in partnership with the Atlantic Policy Congress. For additional information visit www.wherearethechildren.ca.

The CBU Art Gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information visit www.cbu.ca/art-gallery.