Emblem symbolizing ongoing reconciliation on display at YWG

A touring art installation honouring the experiences of residential school survivors has arrived at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.

The Witness Blanket was created by Canadian artist Carey Newman in response to a call for commemoration projects issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Inspired by a woven blanket, it contains more than 800 items either collected from residential school sites across the country or donated by survivors.

“(The Witness Blanket) is here to help all of us understand this history,” said Ry Moran, Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. “There’s many voices contained in this set of stories that is presented here. It’s important for us to listen and to lean into these conversations and to really spend time engaging with it because it has a lot to teach us about who we are.”

WATCH: Why the Witness Blanket is on display at YWG

Due to the fragile nature of some of the items on the Witness Blanket, the version set up in the Arrivals Hall of YWG is a true-to-scale replica of the art piece. The original is currently undergoing conservation at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

“Winnipeg Airports Authority is here to serve our community,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of WAA. “We’re proud to host this travelling monument and provide a space for the duration of the summer where our community and visitors can engage with this important reflection of Canadian history.”

The Witness Blanket will remain on display at YWG until the end of August.


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