Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 8
- Reading age: 9 to 12
For more than 150 years, thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and sent to residential schools across Canada.
Artist Carey Newman created the Witness Blanket to make sure that history is never forgotten. The Blanket is a living work of art—a collection of hundreds of objects from those schools. It includes everything from photos, bricks, hockey skates, graduation certificates, dolls and piano keys to braids of hair. Behind every piece is a story. And behind every story is a residential school Survivor, including Carey's father. This book is a collection of truths about what happened at those schools, but it's also a beacon of hope and a step on the journey toward reconciliation.
About the authors
Carey Newman or Hayalthkin'geme is a multidisciplinary artist and master carver. Through his father he is Kwakwaka'wakw from the Kukwekum, Giiksam, and WaWalaby'ie clans of Fort Rupert, and Coast Salish from Cheam of the Stó:lo Nation along the upper Fraser Valley. Through his mother he is English, Irish, and Scottish. In his artistic practice he strives to highlight Indigenous, social or environmental issues. Carey was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 2017 and was named to the Order of British Columbia in 2018. With Kirstie Hudson, he co-authored Picking Up the Pieces: Residential School Memories and the Making of The Witness Blanket which was a finalist for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Nonfiction. Carey lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
Kirstie Hudson is an editor and writer in Victoria, British Columbia. She was a reporter and producer with the CBC in Toronto, Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Victoria. In her award-winning career as a journalist, Kirstie's work was recognized with a Jack Webster Award, Radio Television Digital News Association Awards and a Gabriel Award. As an instructor at the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University, Kirstie shared her love of storytelling with students in writing, communications and journalism. She co-authored Picking Up the Pieces: Residential School Memories and the Making of The Witness Blanket with Carey Newman. In 2020, the book was a finalist for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Nonfiction.