The Witness Blanket

The Witness Blanket is a very large artistic display created in response to the Residential School System in British Columbia. The artist, Carey Newman followed in the footsteps of his father, grandmother, and grandfather when he became interested in carving. The influence of his heritage, both Kwagiulth and Salish are visible in his work. The witness blanket is intended to stand for the events that occurred within the confines of residential schools and the hardships later in life that came as a result of the abuse. The piece itself is a large panel containing evidence from various residential school sights. Such items as tiny shoes instantly evoke an emotional response to this piece. As activism art, this piece ignites compassion, regret, disappointment, and empathy, all while informing the public of the residential schools. This piece is a part of truth and reconciliation, as it provokes remembrance.

This is my response to the witness blanket, how it speaks to the country as a community, warning us not to let this type of atrocity to occur ever again. To induce shame and sadness, yet invoke the beauty of forgiveness. The Witness Blanket speaks out against discrimination, warning us to never treat people with such disrespect for it is volatile and incredibly dangerous.

The Witness Blanket
Abduction is our burden,
To forget is a crime,
The genocide of culture
That has B.C defined.
Stolen little children, away from their nest
Molesting and abusing
Not sure the church knew best.

We must commemorate.
Remorse will resonate.
Remembrance is due
as we stand and speculate
Illusions of hope may arise
From this crime materialized
Abduction is our burden, knowledge is our Key.
To evade the anguish
from echoing.


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