Books·Canadian

Picking Up the Pieces

A book that documents the making of the Witness Blanket, a living work of art conceived and created by Indigenous artist Carey Newman.

Carey Newman & Kirstie Hudson

Picking Up the Pieces tells the story of the making of the Witness Blanket, a living work of art conceived and created by Indigenous artist Carey Newman. It includes hundreds of items collected from residential schools across Canada, everything from bricks, photos and letters to hockey skates, dolls and braids. Every object tells a story.

Carey takes the reader on a journey from the initial idea behind the Witness Blanket to the challenges in making it work to its completion. The story is told through the objects and the Survivors who donated them to the project. At every step in this important journey for children and adults alike, Carey is a guide, sharing his process and motivation behind the art. It's a personal project. Carey's father is a residential school Survivor.

Like the Blanket itself, Picking Up the Pieces calls on readers of all ages to bear witness to the residential school experience, a tragic piece of Canada's history. (From Orca Book Publishers)

Carey Newman or Hayalthkin'geme is a multidisciplinary artist and master carver. Through his father he is Kwakwaka'wakw from the Kukwekum, Giiksam, and WaWalaby'ie clans of Fort Rupert, and Coast Salish from Cheam of the Stó:lo Nation along the upper Fraser Valley. Through his mother he is English, Irish, and Scottish. Carey was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 2017 and was named to the Order of British Columbia in 2018. He lives in Victoria.

Kirstie Hudson is an editor and writer in Victoria, British Columbia. She worked for the CBC for eighteen years at stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Victoria. In her  career as a journalist, Kirstie's work has been recognized with a Jack Webster Award, Radio Television Digital News Association awards and an international Gabriel Award. Over the years she has covered hundreds of stories, including the making of the Witness Blanket. 

Interviews with Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson

Carey Newman and his team visited about 80 communities and spoke with more than 10,000 people, to collect stories and items for "The Witness Blanket". 10:58

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