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  1. ssJackson_Savage_1adj low res copy.jpg

    Lisa Jackson, Savage (video), 2009.
    Production-still photo: Kris Krüg

Witnesses

Art and Canada's Indian Residential Schools

September 6-December 1, 2013

[ return to show description ]

moira movanna from New West at 3:56 pm Sunday, December 1, 2013

[ In reply to Iris from Prague, CZ at 1:59 pm Friday, November 22, 2013 ] I like what you have written. People need to realize the effect of the past on the present. Not only for those whose healing is denied because of this lack of recognition because of it but also for our own.


moira movvanna from New Westminster, British Columbia at 3:50 pm Sunday, December 1, 2013

You show great courage to trust again. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The denial of a pattern of thought that allowed this genocide to occur is passed down from generation to generation. "The sins of the father" if not challenged permeates everything that we think and do, the decisions that we make. I read a quote this summer in a book written by a group of people committed to the prevention of genocide around the world. "If you have the courage to speak out, know this, you hold the world in your hands".


Julie from Stella Reserve at 2:36 pm Sunday, December 1, 2013

powerful and emotional works that depict the experiences of residential school


Jordana at 2:34 pm Sunday, December 1, 2013

All of them were powerful and amazing.


Savannah from Downtown Eastside at 4:45 pm Saturday, November 30, 2013

to carry..... as witness


Laiwan from Vancouver at 4:12 pm Friday, November 29, 2013

Thank you for a powerful show. The new works by Skeena Reece, Rebecca Belmore and Faye Heavyshield are exceptionally moving.


kathleen rose at 1:49 pm Friday, November 29, 2013

until i speak, i cannot heal. until i open, i cannot hear. this art helps us all to heal...truth and reconciliation.


Lou Jurcik at 12:29 pm Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thank you to those who expressed their history, their experience. Thank you to those who helped give it a place of honor, a platform for expression. Thanks to those who stopped to consider the effects and to address them as they can. May I/we use my time and resources wisely, productively, in accordance with my values.


Yi at 3:46 pm Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's great that UBC provides a space for the expression of the raw emotions that were felt. It's an unfortunate piece of history that should be known by the public so that we will always repent and learn from these horrific crimes.


Lewis and Michelle Birdseye, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A. at 4:38 pm Friday, November 22, 2013

O Lacrimae rerum -- Oh the bitter, bitter tears of things. But rejoice in the power and beauty of art and in those brave souls who dare to expose us all to the truth.


Iris from Prague, CZ at 1:59 pm Friday, November 22, 2013

We cannot hide away from our history. We need to face it, talk about it and come to terms with it. This will allow us to heel and give support to all those in need... and eventually, we all move forward together...


Nikolas from Greece at 4:10 pm Sunday, November 17, 2013

The most interesting part of the gallery was the video.


iasonas at 4:09 pm Sunday, November 17, 2013

I liked the video


Smaragda from Greece at 4:05 pm Sunday, November 17, 2013

An interesting gallery that creates lots of questions


Natalia Rimari from Moldova (Eastern Europe) at 3:47 pm Sunday, November 17, 2013

Very impressive exhibition. I found absolutely terrible facts in Canadian history which I have never knew about. Thank you so much for sharing. Your Light will be with me...


Bridget at 1:45 pm Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thank you


Donald Isbister from Vancouver BC at 12:45 pm Friday, November 15, 2013

My continued search for the answers to my void in who I really am as a Human. This art helps me to see what my Mother went through at the I. R. S. she was forced to attend in Saskatchewan. I have received much healing and answers to the void by being at this Symposium. The artist who have shared these works I thank much. It also tells me that the Creator speaks to many about the same issues. When words are shared by others who I've never seen, say the thoughts and words I speak. To all who read I give you my peace and thoughts of wellness to your families.


Jonathan Dewar at 4:18 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

There are still so many Survivors. So many who led the way. And still others only now addressing their own experiences... and the experiences of their families and communities. And others who have not/cannot yet. And we have also lost so many Survivors, including those affected inter-generationally. Some day, we will have only their memories, recorded in word, song, visual... Let's act now.


Frances Young from Philippines at 1:20 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Really great exhibit. Some powerful stuff present. It's good to reflect on the horrendous events that's happened in the past and make sure that history doesn't repeat itself. My favorite parts included the 4 painting sequence and the videos.


Victor Che Hang Lai at 4:02 pm Sunday, November 10, 2013

It is a history to be learned by those who are in power. Don't let the some stories has been happening around the world, again and again.


David Middleton from Chaudiere Bassin, Comte Levis, Quebec at 3:25 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Very sobering show. I grew up in the Quebec City area and recall meeting a few Hurons and going to their snowshoe work shop, but we were so isolated from what was really going amongst the First Nations - Ancienne Lorette was the nearest community. In the west, we have more opportunity to meet the Native peoples - the Pow Wow at Capilano was a chance to see the dancing and the music.


Doug Matthews from Jasper, Alberta at 4:15 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This serves a vital reminder to not repeat the mistakes of the past. We should always question our actions and their implications.


Eli Zhang from China at 10:44 am Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Before entering the gallary, I never thought the residential schools were that creepy and devil.I learnt it from social studies 11, and it did not describe a lot from the book. After the visit, I felt their pain. Now, I value the peace and fairness much more ever than before. Towards bulling and abuse, let's stand up and against it bravely!


Davinia from Aotearoa New Zealand from Aotearoa New Zealand at 3:29 pm Friday, October 25, 2013

Thank you for such a powerful and important exhibition. I appreciated the chance to experience only a small part of what survivors went through, even though it was extremely difficult and doesn't even begin to touch the pain many former students/colonized peoples still live with. I hope that people will educate themselves around this issue, not just here but all around the world, and learn about other indigenous groups and the continuing struggles they have. In doing so, perhaps majority groups will become more tolerant and recognize that they (we!) need to learn from indigenous peoples, far more than they have ever needed what we 'offered'. Kia ora.


Kenny Wu at 1:43 pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

film piece on the official apology was particularly effective, thank you for such a powerful exhibit.


T Vancouver from North Vancouver at 12:03 pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am a Cree Early Childhood Educator. I came here for a university class... but I also came here to understand my mom. She was placed in residential school from southern Saskatchewan. She escaped to Vancouver when she was old enough. I was adopted and raised in Sask. For years me and my mom were apart I just moved here 2 years ago. I tried many times to wrap my head around what my mom did and why she did it ...why she used substances.... why she rarely shows emotions with me? I cannot ask her any of these questions for that is an area of her life she does not speak of. ...it has been silenced... I seek out information regarding res schools in a search to gain a greater understanding on the pain and suffering that my mom endured.... Meegwetch


Jayne Kwon-Clavadetscher from Hawaii at 4:54 pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I found the pieces resonated with loss and I feel the heaviness, sorrow and power of the works that were shown here. More than anything I feel connected to the experiences of these artists. This was a very palpable & disturbing experience. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront, beyond the Canadian mainstream, and yes in the end possibly about healing and reconciliation, as brutal as the past has been.


tree from vancouver at 11:34 am Wednesday, October 23, 2013

this is the best show I have seen and the films are brilliant, all the work is. thanks Skeena your work is gorgeous.


Wanda Eilers at 2:18 pm Sunday, October 20, 2013

I found this very sad but very informative. I'm ashamed that the native people have been made to feel inferior.. that they've had forced on them another religion... horrified to read how they have been abused...


Jason McCormack from Leeds, England - a proud Yorkshireman currently living in Nottingham, England. at 2:48 pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm from the UK and it makes me ashamed of my 'Imperial Heritage' that lead to abuses like these being carried out on innocent first nation peoples. This could just as easily be the experience of young people in Australia, New Zealand, India - this list, sadly goes on and on. I know I'm not personally responsible for all that's gone, but it still makes me ashamed. I applaud the artists for having to courage to express themselves so courageously and creatively, and the Belkin for recognising the need to give people the opportunity to show their work. Yesterday, I also happened to stumble upon an anti fracking demonstration outside Vancouver Art Gallery lead by first nation people. Clearly there is still much work to be done.....


Armand Garnet Ruffo at 3:59 pm Friday, October 18, 2013

The past is the present is the future.


Susan from North Vancouver at 3:28 pm Thursday, October 17, 2013

Powerful, tragic & healing. I'm so sorry.....the children.... Thank you.


Mo from Vancouver at 11:49 am Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The brutality is only too true, but it is good that survivors' families are here to speak, write and portray their experiences. We are NOT dead. We are damaged but determined to let the many others who are so blissfully unaware of what happened KNOW. Transmission of experience and knowledge is power. Savage-heathen made me cry; it will stay with me for a long time.


Ricardo Torres from Mexico City at 11:19 am Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I was really moved by the ability of the art pieces to take me into another time and space. I had never heard about the Residential Schools System & the whole exhibitions spoke strongly and clearly the emotions that people in them went through. Amazing, really proper.


Seamus from Vancouver at 2:18 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I stumbled upon the exhibition while looking for a different building. I decided to stay because in school I have learned a lot about the residential schools and I believe that art is a medium that can truly touch everyone, so I was fascinated to see how the artists reacted to the residential schools. I was blown away by the beauty of the pain (if that doesn't sound too strange) Savage was absolutely fantastic, the simplicity of the beginning section was breathtaking and the message that they were trying to get across was powerful. The lesson was another great part of the exhibition. All I could think about while witnessing it was 'I'm sorry". It was nice going through the exhibition when there were so few people because you really got to feel surrounded by the emotion of the art. A GREAT EXHIBITION!


Mary Lee from Bellingham, Washington at 2:09 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Savage-Heathen is such a strong and informative piece I think it would be better placed in the room where Savage is playing. It seemed that museum visitors didn't wait to see the longer Savage-Heathen film because it only had two ear phones. If it were placed in the room with plenty of seating that would not be the case and more people would see it without distraction. The factual soundtrack would also be a strong backdrop to the entire exhibition.


Amanda at 1:35 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This exhibition is very powerful.It provides a very good picture as to what happened to the Aboriginals in the residential schools.


Leland from Minnesota at 3:07 pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

I hope that the story of the residential schools is not forgotten and reaches a wider audience. I know that in my home state of Minnesota that there were also residential schools, a fact that is seldom known. There is a lot of prejudice against Indians in my home state and elsewhere, born out of ignorance. Ignorance of Indian history is the root of this prejudice and it is imperative that these stories be heard. I would like to see this exhibit shown outside of BC and also south of the border. Thank you very much to the gallery and the artists.


粑圻声咚田浞汜壬圭款 at 2:13 pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

刻 映中 已父 爆 梭力 雀口 日 蚴丑. 首户 水鸱臁 户 尺 贶之土 戈 至升 门中 下尿袢 燥丘 权句汇习亿. 图人 甑叹尸 明罐 晚卜 伙 首户 象蔼水 刃廿 戒 枪潺廿 百并


jan at 2:11 pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

[ In reply to Christine Kim from Calgary at 4:56 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013 ] NOOO WAAAAAY


anonymous at 2:10 pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

this gallery is so cool, there are a lot of really exciting things here. I'm not bored at all.


jan hare at 2:07 pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

this art gallery is so packed. There are too many people.


Lai at 12:12 pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

[ In reply to Annoymous from N/A at 4:14 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013 ] Like!


Sarah from Ohio at 11:45 am Friday, October 11, 2013

I appreciate and am thankful to be invited to bear witness in the Truth and Reconcilliation Process. I want to thank each artist for their courage and for taking on the role of creator and story teller. I know many people are learning about residential schools for the first time here...and that this kind of exhibition supports that work in the same moment active work towards healing survivors and their families...that is hard to do. I look forward to continued support for art based projects as part of an ongoing process of reconcilliation.


Annoymous from N/A at 4:14 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

To whom who might concern: To be honest with you, the Author: I don't get the video, "Touch me". It's rather more like: "Please gimme a bath". Period.


Jennifer W from SIETAR BC at 1:24 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On behalf of Sietar BC, I just wanted to say thanks again for the tour of the gallery [Sept 26/13]. It was an incredible--and moving presentation. Thank you for raising awareness about residential schools in such a way. We took many thoughts away with us and honour the great work you are doing at the gallery as well.


Lynda Lee from San Francisco, CA at 10:28 am Tuesday, October 8, 2013

As a mother, it is unbearable to imagine my children being taken away from me. My heart aches for all the mother, parents, grandparents, and families who lost their children.


Lorcan Griffin from Ireland at 4:14 pm Sunday, October 6, 2013

Moving exhibition. You dont need to know the context or the detail to feel the coldness and darkness each of the works emits. The past still haunts but the future is brighter...


Eloise Veber from Aotearoa, New Zealand at 3:12 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I am deeply disturbed and grateful both for this exhibition and the photographic exhibition currently showing at MOA. Being from NZ I have learned much about land confiscation, the confiscation of rights and language, and the consequent and ongoing suffering of aboriginal culture. However the experience of First Nations people in Canada is both unique and disturbing. This is a rich, beautiful, peaceful and modest culture. I have met some generous, gentle and shy First Nations people during my time in B.C., and I sincerely wish them and their families a long period of prosperity, calm and healing.


Christine Kim from Calgary at 4:56 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Disturbing yet mesmerizing in an extremely eye opening way.


Sean at 12:09 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I worked for Department of Justice and processed hundreds of claims. Why do we let the church off the hook? Just because they encompass the identities of many people doesn't mean they are not evil. One day the churches will be persecuted in this land, just like the people they tried to wipe out.


Analia Lasso at 2:05 pm Friday, September 27, 2013

Una exposicion increible... salgo totalmente alucinada.. un gran trabajo por parte del autor


Daniel S from Seattle, WA at 11:34 am Friday, September 27, 2013

If anything, this exhibition further implicates all of us in the tragedy that is the Canadian treatment of aboriginal peoples in all situation. Only through education and consistently thinking about he issue can we move forward. Thank you to all who put their time and effort and artwork into making this exhibition function the way it does. It is most definitely successful, impactful, and needs to be seen by everybody


alannah leon from Manitowapow at 2:34 pm Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hyshka for the gift of witnessing both our collective history and horror through these representations-the change begins with each one of us -making space!


Jacqi from Lower 48 at 4:39 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My great grandfather was sent to La Tuque, where a legacy of abuse led to a legacy of addiction, still carried on by some of my family. Thank you for the exhibition and spreading awareness of this enraging tragedy.


Sue from Vancouver at 1:25 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An apology for this horror that we inflicted on innocents is not enough. What can we do to move forward from here? I think bout how little I knew before and what I can do now that I know.


seitar at 7:51 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

it was wonderful to discuss and learn about the art in the exhibition. i thoroughly enjoyed the tour. thank you very much!!


dahee at 12:30 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I felt like really exhausted when i finished (not really finish but still as physically) all looking at work, got some squeezed sadness from them through works (shouldn't call them works since they are themselves)


Jolene at 10:37 am Tuesday, September 24, 2013

[ In reply to Jana Davidson at 12:56 pm Saturday, September 21, 2013 ] I think the last school closed in 1996 (Punnichy, near Mt. Hope, Sask)...


Tom Foggin -- Anacortes, Washington (DC), Missoula, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Charlottesville, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh at 3:21 pm Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Witness," Rabbit-Proof Fence," and "Roots" all reflect many of the realities of "Contact," as experienced by the world's people of color. A Chippewa-Cree man once told me that whenever I meet a new person, I will see a fire within their heart, and it is now my responsibility to see that the fire remains aflame. Black Elk said that where the easy path and the path of many difficulties cross, that place is holy. It is a choice! It has always been the white man's choice. "Contact" is that place in time and space where the dominant society has often chosen the path of inhumanity, ignorance, or unconcern. Bishop Tutu told us that when Europeans first went to Africa, the tribal people had the land and the invaders had the Bible. Now the tribal people have the Bible and the invaders have the land. Truth and Reconciliation > man's inhumanity to man. But will we be led...


Jana Davidson at 12:56 pm Saturday, September 21, 2013

Moving and profound. We need to know and can never forget. I was horrified to learn that the last Residential School was just closed in the 1980's. Thank you to each artist for sharing your experience in such a profoundly moving way.


Kate at 2:11 pm Friday, September 20, 2013

So powerful. Tragic and historical, so glad this is here to tell the stories of the victims.


Elizabeth Chacko from Washington, D.C., USA at 10:53 am Friday, September 20, 2013

Simultaneously disturbing and hopeful. I had not known that First Nations children were removed from their families and placed in Indian schools until today, although I had read about this taking place in Australia with the indigenous population. Thank you artists and all the people involved in sharing this story through your powerful work. The world needs to know.


Wanda-mae Anderson from Vanouver at 3:04 pm Thursday, September 19, 2013

A moving experience, profound in every way . . .


michael nicoll yahgulanaas at 1:17 pm Thursday, September 19, 2013

is this a history or still the moment we are all caught in? thank you all for this profoundly important and insightful exhibit.


Shiqi Wang from China at 11:54 am Thursday, September 19, 2013

All of the pieces, regardless of whether it's in the form of drawings or video, are very powerful and somewhat disturbing to the audiences. Personally, without at least some kinds of description for the art collection, I would actually misunderstand some pieces, thus to learn the background of the art pieces before coming to either an art gallery or museum is extremely crucial... I am very glad that I come here.


Damian Kiss at 4:00 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shocking. Immensely powerful. Enlightening.


Mira from Vancouver at 3:14 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I am so moved by this exhibition. I feel like screaming and crying and I cannot breath. But making this was necessary, everybody should come and see this, we should all know what happened. The whole world should know... I would like to thank all the people involved especially survivors for coming here and sharing their stories with us. Thank you.


jim macguigan from UBC RESEARCH at 10:38 am Wednesday, September 18, 2013

VERY DISTURBING


Susan Kim at 11:46 am Friday, September 13, 2013

I really appreciate this space that we can let people think, feel and act for future. I believe before reconciliation there should come the "truth". If you don't know, if you are not interested, or if you don't like to learn the history just because it is horrible, then there will not be any change. Everyone in this society or in the world need to know this part of history and current society that has hugely affected by this history.


Andrea from Port Alberni at 3:14 pm Thursday, September 12, 2013

I was a child in the Alberni Valley in the 1990s, but my experience was considerably different. I was not abused. I was not made to feel worthless. It is profoundly sad to know that as I was experiencing my own childhood, only a short distance from my school many others were being tormented and abused.


L Lachance from Ottawa at 1:23 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This is a very necessary and powerful collection. We all need to see this. We all need to learn. I feel for these children, for these families. Meegwetch for sharing your stories. they will not be forgotten.


Justin Cardinal Schubert from Calgary, Alberta Canada at 2:55 pm Sunday, September 8, 2013

thank-you to all the staff for your Tireless work in setting up and Advertising this exibition from start to finish you treated both Mike and myself with respect and Kindness. you staff where 100% professional all the way. In the future if we say a black wall you should say "how high"?


For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at jana.tyner@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689