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March 27, 2013

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Nuu-Chah-Nulth Feast Honours Return of Residential School Survivors' Artwork

Alberni Indian Residential School survivors, families and community members will come together for a traditional feast and ceremony to honour the return of a collection of children’s paintings created during the residential school years of 1959-1966.

“The return of the paintings to survivors and their families, and their being honoured as special objects of culture and history, is very meaningful to us,” says Wally Samuel, residential school survivor. “It is about reclaiming these lost pieces and reuniting them with their creators, and celebrating this reconnection.”

The feast and ceremony is an opportunity for residential school survivors and their families to witness these works of art and find some healing and reconciliation with the past.

Artist Robert Aller was hired to teach weekly art classes at the residential school 1959 to 1966 and many of the children’s paintings came into his care. The paintings, part of Aller’s art collection bequeathed to the University of Victoria, has become the focus of an ongoing Elder, survivor and community-led research project through UVic’s Department of Anthropology.

What: Alberni Indian Residential School Feast
When: March 30, 2013
Where: Alberni Athletic Hall in Port Alberni, BC

Photo: A high-resolution image of two of the paintings is available upon request.
Feast: Media who wish to attend the feast please contact Wally Samuel.



  Media Contacts:

Wally Samuel (Port Alberni IRS survivor) on cell at 250-731-7599 or wsamuel@telus.net
Dr. Andrea Walsh (Department of Anthropology) on cell at 250-216-2924 or awalsh@uvic.ca
Denise Helm (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or dhelm@uvic.ca

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