The Toronto truth and reconciliation exhibit has attracted thousands of visitors and is now being offered on loan to other Canadian venues. Photo: Michael Hudson
All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral, the see of the diocese of Edmonton, will be the next stop for Truth and Reconciliation: A Special Exhibit on the Legacy of the Residential Schools. The historical display of texts and photographs, launched at Toronto’s Cathedral Church of St. James in early July, closes there Sept. 12 and is being offered on loan to other venues for unspecified periods of time.
The collection carries forward the spirit of rapprochement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians embodied by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report delivered on June 2. Its five sections—In the Beginning, Truth, Apology, Healing and Reconciliation—has taken thousands of Toronto viewers through 262 years of the Anglican church’s sometimes troubled relations with Canada’s Indigenous peoples, from 1753 to the present day.
Its curator wants it to do the same for people in other parts of Canada. “We’ll need a couple of weeks to pack up the exhibit into sections and then we’ll send it by courier to Bishop Jane Alexander in Edmonton,” said Nancy Mallett, St. James archivist and exhibits committee chair. “We’ll be including the texts and pictures but not the artifacts,” said Mallett. The Edmonton exhibit will likely open in October.
Exhibitors are free to include or exclude items as they see fit and to adapt the exhibit, which covers five triple-sided display towers in spacious St. James Cathedral, to the room they have available. “We’re hoping that other exhibitors will add their own material and related photos and artifacts. That will enrich the exhibit and make it more meaningful and interesting locally,” said Mallett.
The display has drawn favourable comment from Toronto visitors and from U.S. observers engaged in truth and reconciliation stateside, and soon it will go on tour. “I’m not sure what shape the items will be in after being put up and taken down a few times, but we hope they’ll hold up,” said Mallett with a chuckle.
For information on borrowing the exhibit, contact Nancy Mallett at 416-364-7865, ext. 233 or [email protected]
Anglican Journal News, August 11, 2015