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Vernon museum hosting exhibit created to remember residential school survivors

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Deschatelets-NDC Archives
June 10, 2021 - 8:00 PM

A timely exhibit on Canada’s residential schools will be at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives this summer.

The museum has partnered with the Vernon school district to bring a Legacy of Hope traveling exhibit to Vernon. The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national Indigenous charitable organization with a mandate to educate and create awareness and understanding about the residential school system.

"This was something that was organized and set up months before any of the news in Kamloops,” the museum's executive director Steve Fleck said.

Last month, Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc announced the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School site, prompting an outpouring of grief and support for Indigenous communities across the country.

READ MORE: 'Horrified and heartbroken': Communities in mourning after children found buried at former Kamloops residential school

The exhibit titled Remembering, Honouring, & The Way Forward: 10 Years After the Residential School Apology was created to remember the survivors of residential schools, to honour those who did not and provide Canadians with an opportunity to reflect on what reconciliation means to them, according to a press release from the museum.

The exhibit will be on display at the Vernon museum from June until September.

“These are national survivor stories but it’s obviously very relevant and we’ll be providing an Indigenous program to try and support that and pick up the local narrative,” Fleck said, adding a new Indigenous coordinator, hired specifically to support the exhibit, will start next week.

For the month of June, the Vernon museum’s exhibit is open for School District 22 classes, as well as independent learners.

Beginning July 7, the exhibit will be open to the public. For more information visit the Vernon museum’s website here.

There will also be a Legacy of Hope exhibit at the Historic O’Keefe Ranch near Vernon later this summer. Where are the Children is currently on display at the Vernon Public Art Gallery until the end of June and will move to the ranch in July.

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