Inspired to know more about his father’s time at residential school, Kwagiulth master carver and artist Carey Newman created the Witness Blanket – a wall-sized monument that commemorates the experiences of residential Survivors and their families, as well as the children who didn’t make it home. The Witness Blanket is constructed from hundreds of everyday items collected from residential schools, churches, government buildings and cultural structures across Canada. Each object has a story to tell, each Survivor has something to say. Narrated by the artist, this 90-minute film weaves together those stories with Carey’s personal journey, examining how art can open our hearts to the pain of truth and the beauty of resiliency.
The film screening will be preceded by a Musqueam welcome and opening remarks by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph and IRSHDC Academic Director Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe). Following the film, a live Q&A with Carey and his sisters Ellen and Marion will be moderated by Dr. Turpel-Lafond. Audience members will be invited to submit questions via chat.
This event is part of the UBC Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre’s Orange Shirt Day | National Day for Truth and Reconciliation programming. It is presented in partnership with the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, First Nations House of Learning, UBC Learning Circle and the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health. It is free and open to UBC students, staff and faculty at both campuses as well as to wider community members, however, registration is required.