About this object


From a collection of Northwest Coast inspired artwork produced by First Nations children at the Alert Bay Residential School during the 1968 to 1969 school year. The works were also part of an exhibition of student drawings, displayed at the Charles Sanderson Library in Toronto during 1970. They were also featured briefly by one of the local television stations. Residential schools were operated by religious organizations and followed the regular provincial curriculum. The Alert Bay Residential School was operated by the Anglican Church of Canada. According to the Van Drielens, art was discouraged at the School because 'they couldn't make a living at it'.

Cultural context

student art

Physical description

Poster with photographs and a green construction paper cut-out whale. The whale is glued at the top left of a horizontally rectangular, black cardboard piece. Whale features are drawn with black felt pen. Whale has circular eye outlined by a tapering oval with a sideways split u behind the eye. The body has three sideways blank split u's. The side fin has a blank split u. The dorsal fin has two sideways tear drop shapes and an upside down blank split u. The belly has black dashes. The tail has long lines. The spout hole has black dots coming out of it. Six black and white photographs are glued in a v-shaped pattern. From the left, there are the following pictures: several boys paddling a canoe; three children outdoors with a bed, two of which wear hats while a third has a mop-like wig; paper mache horse costume worn by several children; people on a beach with fish boats in the background; playing field; and a row of girls sitting on a log at the beach. In white crayon, at the bottom left, there reads 'activities'. Covered with clear plastic.