Every Child Matters

Adrian Stimson, Iini Sookumapii: Guess who's coming to dinner?, 2019, mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Purchased with funds from the Remai Modern Foundation’s Mendel 40th Anniversary Fund, 2021.

A Statement from Remai Modern's Board of Directors and Co-Executive Director & CEOs

Content Warning: Residential Schools

The discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a reminder of the systemic racism that has long existed, and continues to exist, in Canada. These children all had names and lives left to live. They also had families and communities who still feel the impact of their deaths. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities as they mourn their loved ones and call for justice.

As we consider our role as a public institution, we look to the artists who bravely share their art with us as a way to learn, connect and consider the experiences of others. In the current exhibition, An apology, a pill, a ritual, a resistance, Adrian Stimson’s work Iini Sookumapii: Guess who’s coming to dinner? deals directly with the residential school in Adrian’s home community. The work includes 68 photos of children who attended Old Sun Indian Residential School on the Siksika Nation in Alberta. The photographs of boys taken in 1955 — included with permission, and described by the artist as “all our fathers from the Nation” — attest to the personal and intergenerational impacts of the residential school system as well as the community’s resistance to its assimilationist agenda. 

This June, admission to Remai Modern will be by donation so we can share this important art with as many people as possible. The museum is in conversation with Indigenous artists and residential school survivors to determine the appropriate use of funds donated. In the coming weeks and months, additional programs and initiatives will be announced. We reaffirm our commitment to amplifying Indigenous voices and using art as a catalyst for conversation, understanding, reflection and learning. 

If you need support, the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is open 24/7 and can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.


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