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Artwork honouring residential school survivors vested with legal rights –

by ahnationtalk on April 12, 201957 Views

April 12, 2019

WINNIPEG — An art installation honouring survivors of residential schools is being recognized as a “living entity” in an agreement combining Indigenous teachings and Western law.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and First Nations artist Carey Newman are signing an agreement Friday to be joint stewards of the “The Witness Blanket,” which is comprised of more than 800 items collected from the sites and survivors of residential schools.

Newman, a Kwagiulth and Coast Salish artist from Vancouver Island, said he has never felt ownership of the 12-metre-long installation, but rather a responsibility to honour the survivors’ stories it carries.

In devising a way to share this responsibility with the CMHR, Newman said he and the Crown-owned museum came to an “unprecedented” agreement that would vest legal rights with the artwork itself, rather than treating it like a transfer of property.

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