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Residential school survivors honoured in Okanagan Legacy of Hope exhibit

Museum exhibit on dark history sheds light
The Kamloops Indian Residential School circa 1930. (Archives Deschâtelets-NDC, Richelieu)

A timely exhibit on some of B.C.’s darkest history aims to shed light and create space for healing.

The travelling Legacy of Hope exhibit is at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives and open to the public from July 7 to September.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national Indigenous charitable organization with the mandate to educate and create awareness and understanding about the Residential School System. The Foundation supports the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors and their families, and seeks their input on projects that honour them.

The exhibit that featured at the Vernon Museum is titled Remembering, Honouring, & The Way Forward: 10 Years After the Residential School Apology. It was created to remember the survivors who made it out of the schools, to honour those who did not, and to provide all Canadians with a unique opportunity to reflect on what Reconciliation means to them.

The importance of this exhibit is magnified by the tragic discovery in Kamloops.

“The devastating news from Kamloops is triggering an outpouring of grief across the country and serves as a reminder of the intergenerational trauma that resulted from the Residential School System,” Museum executive director Steve Fleck said. “This exhibit arrives at a critical moment, and it is our hope that we can learn more about the lived experiences of survivors and their descendants. We invite visitors to view the exhibit and reflect on the meaning of Reconciliation.”

For the month of June, the exhibit was opened to Vernon School District classes, as well as independent learners. For more information, visit

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

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