The painful legacy of Canada's residential school era is about to go on display at Calgary's Central Library, in the form of a national monument that recognizes the atrocities during that time period.

The installation, titled The Witness Blanket, is made out of more than 800 items connected to residential school experiences in Alberta and across Canada.

Clarence Wolfleg

Blackfoot elder Clarence Wolfleg went to a residential school on Siksika Nation. (CBC)

Upon viewing the piece, Blackfoot elder Clarence Wolfleg was reflective.

"It felt lonely in a sense that all you could do when we were young was look out the window, and we'd look at all the beautiful things that we grew up with, the memories," he said. "So as you snuck up and looked outside, 'Gee my home is way over there. Maybe tomorrow I get to go home'."

The Witness Blanket will be on display at the downtown Central Library from April 13 to May 9.