Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre’s important new exhibit brings history home

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre has a new exhibit and I think any of us who live in the Pemberton – Mt Currie – Area C region should commit to attending.

It opens February 6.

“Where are the Children” was developed in 2001 to uncover a dark secret in Canada’s story, and begin a process of healing and reconciliation. It has travelled across the country.

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SLCC Curator, Alison Pascal, explains the importance of this exhibit:

“This exhibit is important to me because Residential School has effected every part of my life and by proxy the lives of all Canadians. This exhibit gives Residential School Survivors a chance to tell their stories. As I was growing up, my Mom would tell me stories of what she experienced while at Residential Schools and the Day School Program that followed. Even though I knew she went, and heard the stories I didn’t understand the dramatic and lonely childhood each and every Aboriginal residential school student across Canada experienced. I didn’t understand how and why their childhood affected my childhood. The exhibit gives us a chance to understand what went on in the schools, how these children were treated or mistreated and now it gives us a beginning of Reconciliation.”

I’m sorry to say that I think it will break your heart. And if you have children, you might find it agonizing to imagine yourself in the shoes of one of the parents whose children were taken away. But do it. Be brave. Attend. Witness this history and these stories that so many people have carried on their own for too long. We have an opportunity to lighten that burden a tiny bit, by offering to carry the stories together.

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We invite you to share your impressions and experiences with us on the Almanac.

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