British Columbia

Reconciliation and the royals: William and Kate to view Witness Blanket

The creator of the Witness Blanket says he wants to show today's royalty the legacy of colonialism.

Witness Blanket tells of trauma experienced by survivors of residential schools

Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — in this picture from 2011 — will visit B.C. and Yukon for several days beginning Sept. 24. A Victoria artist wants them to leave them with a message about Canada's colonial past. (Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press)

The royal visit to British Columbia and Yukon will include lessons on reconciliation, a Victoria artist hopes.

Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman will show the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge the Witness Blanket he made to tell of the trauma experienced by residential school survivors.

The Witness Blanket has been touring the country since January but will be on display at Government House in Victoria for the visit.

"It's about honouring residential school survivors and it's also about driving the conversation about reconciliation and using any chance that I get to help people understand what happened at residential schools," Newman told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

"So this is another one of those opportunities and it happens to be an opportunity that puts me with people who are direct descendants of the original colonizers of this country."

The blanket consists of 887 objects — broken brick, shattered tiles, pieces of wood, and lost shoes — each connected in some way to a residential school.

Newman isn't sure if he will get a chance to introduce the work to them, but would like to.

"I hope that I will have a chance to talk a little bit about the blanket, what it's made from, about reconciliation in Canada and the history and legacy of residential school," he said.

The Witness Blanket consists of 887 objects from Canadian Residential Schools. (Jessica Sigurdson/CMHR)

With files form CBC Radio One's All Points West

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Reconciliation and the royals: viewing of Witness Blanket on agenda for William and Kate

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