"Your truth and your reconciliation as well is going to be the teaching tool for all of those generations that are still following in your footsteps."
-Elder Lekeyten, Elder in Residence at KPU (2021)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008 -2015) documents the history and intergenerational impacts of Canada’s Residential School system that continue today.
Photo: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Commissioned by the TRC in 2009, the Bentwood Box travelled with the TRC to its eight national events throughout Canada, where people placed personal items into the box to symbolize their journey toward healing and expressions of reconciliation.
Coast Salish artist Luke Marston steamed, bent, and carved the box in the traditional style from a single piece of sacred, old growth red cedar. The artistic styles and imagery in its carved panels represent the distinct cultures of former First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school students.
After its travels with the TRC, the Bentwood Box was featured at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in an exhibit on Truth and Reconciliation. It is now in its permanent residence at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) where it continues to be a symbol of hope.