Thursday, May 25, 2017

Supreme Court to decide who owns the 38,000 stories of residential school survivors

Interesting story by the Star's Tanya Talaga especially in the wake of the "cultural appropriation" controversy:
"Who ultimately controls the stories of 38,000 residential school survivors may finally be decided on May 25 when the question goes before the Supreme Court.
"The courts have consistently ruled it is up to the survivors to decide what happens to their own accounts of their experiences, stories that led to Ottawa paying out more than $5 billion in compensation, and that it is the survivors’ wishes that must be upheld and respected. The courts say the 38,000 survivors have 15 years to decide individually if their stories should be preserved in an archive at the National Centre for Truth and "Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba or be destroyed.
"But a coalition representing the children and grandchildren of residential school survivors was recently granted intervention status at the hearing. "They want to save the 38,000 stories, which they say are the largest firsthand accounts of the residential school system.
“'When I ask people if they want their story deleted, I ask them to think about it in the intergenerational perspective,' said Carey Newman, founder of the Coalition to Preserve Truth and the artist behind the Witness Blanket, a massive, art installation — made up of leftover pieces of residential school items, churches and government buildings. The blanket is currently touring the country. Newman is of British, Kwagiulth and Salish descent."

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