Indigenous artist Carey Newman The original Witness Blanket art piece is undergoing conservation at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. A replica is on tour and will show at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre from Nov. 16 to Dec. 12. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Cohen, CMHR)

Indigenous artist Carey Newman The original Witness Blanket art piece is undergoing conservation at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. A replica is on tour and will show at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre from Nov. 16 to Dec. 12. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Cohen, CMHR)

Witness Blanket exhibit touches down in Saanich this month

Replica of Indigenous artist Carey Newman’s impactful piece opens at Cedar Hill gallery Nov. 16

The Witness Blanket travelling exhibition will be mounted at the Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre Gallery from Nov. 16 through Dec. 12.

The original Witness Blanket project – the exhibition contains a full-scale replica – encapsulated the atrocities that occurred in residential schools and was intended to convey the experiences of residential school survivors.

“I am excited to have this replica come so close to home and for it to be available to schools and other groups in our community,” said Carey Newman (Hayalthkin’geme), master carver and the artist behind the piece.

Resembling a woven blanket with original cedar‐framed artwork, the original piece was made from over 800 items from Indian residential schools, survivors, churches, governments and other cultural sites across Canada. Each detailed element tells a story of loss, strength, resilience and pride.

The original Witness Blanket began its tour in 2014 in Victoria and is currently located at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, where it is undergoing conservation after a three-year tour.

The new exhibit will be on display during Cedar Hill’s facility hours and private viewings may be booked by Indigenous families and organizations. Schools and community organizations are encouraged to pre-book viewings.

To learn more about the Witness Blanket and the exhibition visit saanich.ca/witnessblanket.

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art exhibitDistrict of SaanichIndigenous reconcilliation