College of the Rockies is pleased to be hosting University of Victoria professor, Dr. Andrea Walsh, on Monday, October 3. Dr. Walsh will be presenting ‘Repatriation as Reconciliation: Children’s Art from the Alberni Indian Residential School’.
A visual anthropologist specializing in 20th century and contemporary aboriginal art, Dr. Walsh is interested in collections of objects and images and how they are curated and exhibited in museums and galleries. Through her work, she has explored aboriginal children’s art and its role in reconciliation and redress.
In 2012, Dr. Walsh and other University of Victoria faculty members and students, formed a research and curatorial collective called Residential and Indian Day School Art Research (RIDSAR). Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, it set out to understand the status of children’s artwork, created in residential schools, in Canadian museum collections.
RIDSAR surveyed 1100 institutions and archives and found that a very small number of collections exist, many of them concentrated around BC residential schools. As part of their research, they worked with survivors from the Alberni Indian Residential School on a multi-year exhibition project. This project focused on paintings from that school which, in 2013, had been repatriated to the survivors who created them as children.
Dr. Walsh’s presentation will discuss the various kinds of knowledge created from the RIDSAR/survivor collaboration and what the collective has learned about curating culturally sensitive collections from the residential school era. She will also discuss what was learned about working with communities whose lives are directly affected by the schools’ legacies.
‘Repatriation as Reconciliation: Children’s Art from the Alberni Indian Residential School’ is a free presentation, sponsored by College of the Rockies’ Guest Lecture Fund and College of the Rockies’ Faculty Association.
“It is gratifying to me that Dr. Walsh so readily agreed to come to the Kootenays to speak about her research and I hope, from its discussion, all people of this region will come to better understand the history of a residential school and the larger themes of repatriation and reconciliation,” says College of the Rockies instructor Marcel Dirk.
Dr. Walsh’s presentation will take place at 7:00 pm in room 250 at College of the Rockies’ Cranbrook main campus.
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