Stories of Residential School and Sport (Fall 2019 Exhibition)

UBC Residential School History and Dialogue Centre’s “Pride and Camaraderie: Stories of Residential School and Sport” exhibition featured 12 archival images and stories from Residential School Survivors around the theme of sport. While the Residential School experience for Survivors included fear, loneliness, abuse and trauma, many found solace in sports as it offered hope, resistance and reprieve.

Larry Loyie is a famous Cree author who attended St. Bernard Mission Residential School in Grouard, Alberta. One of his favourite pastimes at Residential School was playing hockey because skating on the ice gave him a sense of freedom. Indeed, for many Survivors, playing in team sports was an escape from school and a way to grow physically and mentally stronger during harsh times. Two photos of Larry during his time at Residential School are featured in the exhibition, donated by his partner Constance Brissenden.

girls basketball team
Alberni Indian Residential School girls’ basketball team, 1955 Pre-Midget Champions. Image courtesy the United Church of Canada Archives (86.158/16).

The exhibition also features two unique images highlighting the Musqueam First Nation. Images of the Musqueam lacrosse team tell a story of sport and offers a history of one of Musqueam’s chiefs, Chief Ed Sparrow.

The exhibit was on display until Fall 2019, and included images from the Brissenden-Loyie Family, the Sparrow Family, and the United Church of Canada.

Download a PDF handout about the exhibition.

These images and stories of sport in Residential School were generously contributed and shared by the Sparrow Family, Loyie-Brissenden Family and the United Church of Canada.