This exhibition and corresponding web resource bring together objects of art and craft as well as artifacts associated with dramatic productions created and produced by children and youth who attended Indian Residential and Indian Day Schools in British Columbia and Manitoba. The pieces exhibit a diverse range of media from paintings and drawings, to works on leather and hide, even seashells, to audio and visual recordings of dramatic plays and songs by students. Children who created these works attended the Alberni Indian Residential School, the MacKay Indian Residential School, the Alert Bay Indian Day School, and the Inkameep Indian Day School between the early 1950s and early 1970s.

Dr. Andrea Walsh curates this exhibition in collaboration with residential and day school Survivors and former students who created these works when they were children, or with family members of child creators of the pieces. All artwork contained on this web page and in the exhibition with attributed artist names are shown with the permission of Survivors and their families. Dr. Walsh’s curatorial collaborations also involve staff from Indigenous cultural centres and museums; many of the objects on exhibition are currently cared for as part of their collections. These institutions include the U’Mista Cultural Centre, the Nk’Mip Desert Heritage Centre, and the Osoyoos Museum.

This site is based on the exhibition There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools (September 23, 2017 – January 6, 2018) at the University of Victoria’s Legacy Art Gallery located in downtown Victoria, BC. As a web resource this site brings the experience of the exhibition online to visitors and provides further readings and resource material aimed at a high school to post-secondary academic level. 

The staff of the Legacy Art Galleries and the creators of this web resource Dr. Andrea Walsh and Dr. Jennifer Claire Robinson, wish to respectfully acknowledge the Lekwungen (Esquimalt and Songhees Nations) and W̱SÁNEĆ Territories on which we live and work.

Please note: A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support to former students. This 24-Hour Crisis Line can be accessed at: 1-866-925-4419.