A new exhibit in Winnipeg is putting a spotlight on the Métis experience of residential schools in Canada.

Forgotten launches Monday at the United Way of Winnipeg. The exhibit is a series of photographs documenting residential schools in Manitoba and historical markers throughout Métis history.

For Andrew Carrier, the opening is an important piece of recognition for Métis survivors.

"It's to recognize that there's a price that the Métis community has paid for higher education, and that price is loss of identity, shame of our Métis culture," he said. Carrier is the minister responsible for Métis Residential Day School Survivors in the Manitoba Métis Federation.

He's also a survivor of the residential school system. Carrier attended a "day school," as did his parents and grandparents. He said he hasn't yet processed the abuse he experienced when at school, but events like the exhibit contribute to healing.

"Part of the healing process .. is to speak about the tragedies and the hardship," Carrier said.

"To this day, the apologies have only been asserted to the First Nations community and the Métis have been, for the most part, not allowed to speak about the discipline and the sexual abuse that they suffered at the hands of the administrators, or even at the hands of the teachers and at the hands of any abuser."

Raising awareness

Carrier said he feels like the general public has little to no awareness of the Métis experience of residential schools, which he said was "very similar, if not identical" to what First Nations students went through, aside from the fact that many Métis students would have only attended "day schools" instead of boarding schools.

The new exhibit will focus on history of schools in the past, but Carrier said their impact has reverberated into the present, carried on through living survivors and the loss of Métis culture and tradition.

If you'd like to see Forgotten: The Métis Residential School Experience you can drop in at the United Way offices at 580 Main St.