The exhibitions established in the Gathering Area of the library were a joint effort brought in by the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, the Indigenous People’s Center and the John E Robbins Library at Brandon University. It began September 27th and ended only last Friday, October 20th. The exhibit served to educate about the residential school system and the traumatic events the First Nations, The Inuit and the Metis people went through. The exhibit was to be accessible not solely to our own University, but also to ACC, the local school division and the surrounding communities.
The exhibit had several goals set up when it was put on display. One of the goals was meant to recognize Orange Shirt Day and to boost the awareness surrounding the history of residential schools in Canada, as well as the lasting effects this history has had significantly on our indigenous people, and additionally on our country as a whole. Another goal was also meant to open a conversation concerning reconciliation, and the way that the University can begin to respond to the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Lisa Park, Diversity and Human Rights advisor stated, “I think that the exhibition met the goals that we set for it… We have had interest from local and national media, and excellent coverage by our own Quill writers.”
Testimonials, facts and pictures served to educate anyone who came to see the exhibit. It was open to students, staff and the general public while the library was open.
The Legacy of Hope Foundation developed the 100 Years of Loss exhibition, and organizations can contact them if they want to look at borrowing this powerful display. The Brandon Indian Residential School Mobile Learning Center is on loan from Knox United Church. This material was added to the exhibition for the final week, and educated anyone who saw the exhibit that this issue is not very far from recent history.
Elementary school groups from grade five and up came through and toured the exhibits. As did high school and college classes, church groups and other community organizations. There is even interest from Tribal Health at The Pas and a hope in bringing the exhibit there as well.
The exhibition received a lot of positive feedback about the importance of this Canadian history.