Where are the Children?
Developed in 2001, the goals of Where are the Children? Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools are to: acknowledge the experiences of, and 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, acknowledgment and education, the goal of the exhibition is also to assist in promoting understanding and reconciliation in Canada about residential schools.
The exhibition consists of 118 framed archival photographs, text panels, maps, original classroom textbooks and historical government papers selected from nine public and church archives, and depicts the history and legacy of Canada’s Residential School System. Where are the Children? spans over 125 years and contains photographs and documents from the 1880s to present day.
The exhibition depicts the life of Aboriginal peoples before, during and after residential schools. Photographs, text panels and artifacts move visitors through the experience of residential school, from leaving home and arriving at residential school, to school activities and being part of a classroom. A section on the children who never returned home as well as on contemporary role models provides visitors with the range of experiences of attending residential school.
The Where Are the Children? exhibition does not attempt to tell the whole story about residential schools; rather, it introduces people to a part of Canadian history by encouraging children to ask, and parents to answer, important questions about their family histories which will contribute to healing for Aboriginal communities.
About the Curator
Jeff Thomas is a member of the Six Nations Reserve and currently resides in Ottawa, where he works as a photo-based artist and independent curator. Thomas explores relationships between the Aboriginal past and present through historical photographs and paintings depicting Aboriginal people His curatorial projects have taken place at the National Archives of Canada, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Archives of Ontario and George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.
Website, App, Publications, Images, Video
To visit the Where are the Children? website, click here.
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