In 2008, a group of courageous Inuit residential school Survivors shared their experiences with the Legacy of Hope Foundation with the hope of contributing to the healing process for Survivors, their families and communities, as well as the rest of the nation. Their stories, recorded in this exhibition catalogue, are presented in their own words and illustrated with their personal objects and photographs, as well as with historical photographs from archives across Canada. The Survivors, two from each Inuit region – Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region – provide us with moving examples of what life was like for many Inuit before, during, and after their time in the Residential School System.
Despite the unique nature of each account, many Inuit and other Aboriginal Residential School Survivors will recognize aspects of themselves in
the stories of former students: their memories of childhood and their experiences in school; the struggles they have already overcome; and the challenges they still face today. The hope these Survivors hold for healing and reconciliation in the future, for themselves, their families and their communities, are shared by many Survivors of Residential Schools.
The Legacy of Hope Foundation is deeply grateful to Ms. Marjorie Flowers, Ms. Shirley Flowers, Ms. Lillian Elias, Mr. Peter Irniq, Ms. Carolyn Niviaxie, Mr. Abraham Ruben, Mr. Marius Tungilik, and Ms. Salamiva Weetaltuk, the eight Inuit Survivors who generously shared their stories with us. We are honoured to be the guardian of their testimonies, which will educate generations of Canadians and forever be a part of the archive of Residential School Survivor voices recorded and preserved by the Legacy of Hope Foundation.