Signs of Your Identity
In the 1870s, the Canadian government created a network of Indian Residential Schools meant to assimilate young Indigenous students into western Canadian culture. Indian agents would take children from their homes as young as two or three and send them to church-run boarding schools where they were punished for speaking their Native languages or observing any Indigenous traditions, routinely sexually and physically assaulted, and in some extreme instances subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization.
The last residential school closed in 1996. The Canadian government issued its first formal apology in 2008.
These multiple exposure portraits overlay images of survivors with the sites and memories of their boarding school experiences, as an attempt to visually engage with the impacts of cultural genocide and intergenerational trauma.