This important and necessary project will build on our existing 18 exhibitions and will continue to raise awareness by educating people about the Residential School System, experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children who sought to escape the system and ran for their lives. The exhibition will give first person testimony by giving a voice to those escaped and will honour those who died in the process by using personal accounts from family members. In attempt to work toward Reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians, we must first acknowledge the dark history, honour the lives that have been harmed and lost, and take responsibility for the way forward. Together we can learn from the past mistakes, vow to take inspired and positive action that will contribute to creating a life of dignity, respect and equality for all.

The primary goal of this project is to develop an exhibition and educational materials to educate Canadians about the many children who went missing or who died without proper burials while at Residential Schools, so that we can properly honour their lives, their families, and give them a voice.

The Legacy of Hope, with input from the volunteer Project Advisory Committee (PAC) (made up of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Survivors and /or their families and an Elder), will honour the children who tried to escape the schools and lived to tell their story, as well as honour the memories of those who escaped, but did not make it out alive by giving them a voice. The exhibition is expected to be launched in March 2020, and will be included in the LHF National Exhibition Catalogue, which allows hosts to borrow exhibitions from across Canada.

The project began April 1, 2019 and will run until March 31, 2020 and will be guided by a volunteer PAC comprised of Indigenous Peoples who are Survivors or Intergenerational Survivors of the Residential School System. The PAC will meet in person twice and by teleconference in between the face-to-face meetings at key points in the project work plan in order to guide the project work. The PAC will be comprised of six people of Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) heritage and one Elder.

The exhibition is expected to be launched in Ottawa, Ontario in March 2020 and will be the only exhibition available in Canada that provides a complete and current examination of this issue, its origins in the Residential School System and the ongoing impacts today.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada.
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