Dempsey Bob

Truth and Reconciliation

A Celebration of Resilience on Friday, September 20th

For more than 120 years, thousands of Aboriginal Children in British Columbia were sent to Indian Residential (boarding) Schools that were funded by the Federal Government and run by the churches. The first residential schools were established in the 1840s and the last residential school closed in 1996. For over 100 years, until 1948, Residential School was compulsory by law for status Indians under 16 years of age. Mortality rates at residential schools ranged from 30% – 60% and included epidemics of tuberculosis from poor living conditions, compulsory sterilization as well as nutritional and other experiments.

In March 1998, the Government made a Statement of Reconciliation – including an apology to Aboriginal people who were sexually or physically abused while attending residential school.

In September of 2013 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is hosting a National Conference in Vancouver, September 18 – 21 ( ).

Emily Carr is suspending classes on Friday, September 20th to acknowledge the survival and resilience of Aboriginal people and to celebrate the strength of Aboriginal culture today. We see this as a day of celebration, contemplation and community-building.

We welcome all students, faculty and staff to attend the events on campus and around Vancouver to better understand the Aboriginal journey of healing and the power of Aboriginal art, culture and education.

Aboriginal Gathering Place: Programming throughout the day

  • Film/DVD: We Were Children
  • Mathew Nuqingaq/Inuit – drumming and singing, demonstration/presentation
  • Luke Parnell/Haida Nisga’a – Presentation/demonstrations
  • Laura Wee Lay Laq/Coast Salish – Presentation

Note: There will be a “Quiet Room” available (Room 123/Foundation Hallway) for individuals who would like to have a quiet space for resting, meditation and reflection. There will be yoga mats set up and at 4pm we will host a Restorative Yoga class.

Events Schedule

Thursday, September 12 at 6:00pm
Opening in the Concourse Gallery: Residential School Aboriginal Art Exhibition

Friday, September 20th – Days Events

8:30am – Bannock and Tea (Concourse Gallery)

  • Welcome
    Opening with Lou-Ann Neel: drumming/singing
    Mathew Nuqingaq: Inuit drumming/singing

10:00am – Drop in cedar station (Concourse Gallery)

  • hands on and cedar harvesting video

10:00am – Inuit artist Lena Wolki (Concourse Gallery)

  • sealskin glove sewing demonstrations and qiviut spinning demonstrations

11:00am – Sonny Assu
Lecture Theatre, Room 301, South Building, Emily Carr University

See his bio at

2:00pm – Dempsey Bob
Lecture Theatre, Room 301, South Building, Emily Carr University

See his bio at