There is Truth Here: Curatorial Panel Discussion


there is Truth Here curators Andrea Walsh and Lorilee Wastasecoot, will be in discussion with MOV's Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement, Sharon Fortney, and Vancouver Artist Roxanne Charles.

There is Truth Here exhibition focuses on rare surviving artworks created by children who attended the Inkameep Day School (Okanagan), St Michael’s Indian Residential School (Alert Bay); the Alberni Indian Residential School (Vancouver Island) and Mackay Indian Residential School (Manitoba). The focus of the exhibition is not upon the schools, but rather witnessing the resilience and creativity of the survivors as conveyed through their childhood artworks – for some the only surviving material from their childhoods. 

Our panel will explore the challenges of curating difficult knowledge and the role of communities and (residential school) survivors in museums and exhibitions. Difficult questions around how intergenerational voices and lived experiences (survival) contribute to a process of reconciliation will be posed. Finally, considering ways to understand Canada's colonialization of Indigenous people and its relationship to current illegal First Nations land abuses will additionally be explored.

We anticipate a provocative and most relevant discussion from these esteemed curators and artist.

Date: Saturday April 6, 2019

Time: 1pm - 3pm

Tickets: $14 Early Bird, $19 General Admission, $10 **MOV Members. Free to individuals who self-identify as Indigenous.

*Early bird ticket sales end Wednesday, April 3 at 5pm.

Event ticket includes FREE admission to There Is Truth Here, Haida Now and Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives exhibitions. Please arrive early with your event ticket to view the exhibits or stay following the talk to explore.

Roxanne Charles’ The Strata of Many Truths installation, appearing at MOV as part of Capture Photography Festival, will additionally be accessible before and following this event. More information.


Roxanne Charles of Semiahmoo First Nation is a cultural historian implying means of visual representation, oral history, and ceremony. Methods which have been utilized by Semiahma People for thousands of years. Roxanne holds two undergraduate degrees from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Roxanne’s work directly responds to a troubling colonial present and documents a variety of issues that reflect her life experiences such as spirituality, identity, urbanization, food security, resource extraction, trauma, and various forms of systemic violence.

Dr. Sharon Fortney is the Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement at MOV, and is a member of the museum's repatriation committee. Her work is about increasing community access to the museum and its collections, whether it is in the stories that are shared or through the return of ancestral belongings. Sharon's grandmother was a survivor of the Kuper Island Residential School. 

Andrea N. Walsh, PhD. (Settler Irish, British, Scottish, Nlaka'pamux ancestries) is a visual anthropologist at the University of Victoria. For 20 years her work has identified, repatriated, and exhibited Indian Day and Residential school art through community/Survivor collaborations across Canada. This work is included in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, for which Walsh was inducted as Honorary Witness in 2012. Her latest collaboratively curated exhibition is titled: There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools.

Lorilee Wastasecoot is a curatorial intern at the University of Victoria Legacy Art Galley. Lorilee is Cree from Peguis First Nation with ancestral roots from York Factory in Northern Manitoba. Wastasecoot believes that art is a powerful way for Indigenous people to express and share knowledge about their own cultures. Working with her family, the MacKay Indian Residential School Survivors, the artists and their families involved in the creation of the There Is Truth Here exhibition has been a humbling and healing experience that has inspired her to work with Indigenous communities and museum collections to curate exhibits that matter to Indigenous people. Wastasecoot will be curating a Indigenous basketry exhibit at the Legacy Art Gallery in fall 2019.