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Orca Fall 2019 (June-December)

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Picking Up the Pieces
Residential School Memories and the Making of the Witness Blanket
By (author): Carey Newman By (author): Kirstie Hudson
9781459819955 Hardcover, Printed dust jacket English General Trade SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies Sep 10, 2019
$39.95 CAD
Active 10.75 x 10 x 0.88 in 180 pages 250 , 2 Maps FSC certified – mixed sources C106973 Orca Book Publishers
Every object tells a story.

Picking Up the Pieces tells the story of the making of the Witness Blanket, a living work of art conceived and created by Indigenous artist Carey Newman. It includes hundreds of items collected from residential schools across Canada, everything from bricks, photos and letters to hockey skates, dolls and braids. Every object tells a story.

Carey takes the reader on a journey from the initial idea behind the Witness Blanket to the challenges in making it work to its completion. The story is told through the objects and the Survivors who donated them to the project. At every step in this important journey for children and adults alike, Carey is a guide, sharing his process and motivation behind the art. It’s a personal project. Carey’s father is a residential school Survivor. Like the Blanket itself, Picking Up the Pieces calls on readers of all ages to bear witness to the residential school experience, a tragic piece of Canada’s history.

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. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Kirstie Hudson is an editor and writer in Victoria, British Columbia. She worked for the CBC for eighteen years at stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Victoria. In her award-winning career as a journalist, Kirstie's work has been recognized with a Jack Webster Award, Radio Television Digital News Association awards and an international Gabriel Award. Over the years she has covered hundreds of stories, including the making of the Witness Blanket. 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.

Key Selling Points
The Witness Blanket is a living piece of art, with contributions continuing to come in from every residential school in Canada.
The Witness Blanket is a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the Indian residential school era, honor the children and symbolize ongoing reconciliation. Picking Up the Pieces calls on readers of all ages to witness the residential school experience, a tragic part of Canada’s history.
Blankets have significance in both of Carey Newman’s Nations of origin—Kwakwaka’wakw and Coast Salish.
The Witness Blanket toured across Canada from January 2015 to May 2018. After almost four years of touring, it will soon become a permanent exhibition at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
This timely book offers an opportunity for people who were unable to see the Blanket when it was on tour to engage with this important artwork. The book includes a section on Truth and Reconciliation, with interviews from Survivors, that is straightforward and straight from the heart.
Many of the interviews with Survivors come from a companion documentary, Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket (Media One Multimedia, 2015).
Carey Newman has been an artist all his life—he learned from his father and was exhibiting by the time he was 12. In 1996 Carey and his family opened the Blue Raven Gallery in Sooke, British Columbia.

Marketing and Promo Plans

Print and online advertising campaigns
Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley
Blog post and social media promotion
Planned appearance at local writers festival
Outreach in Orca newsletter
An image of the Witness Blanket in its entirety is printed on the inside of the dust jacket
Postcard promoting the book

“A moving catalog...Readers interested in American Indian history or education will find important insights into the significance of the Witness Blanket and its component parts.” - Library Journal

"Picking Up the Pieces is both a crucial record of history and an outstanding assertion of love and community. The story behind the creation of the powerful Witness Blanket project is one of great care and consideration, with residential school Survivors and their families at the centre. By sharing his own family's connection to a brutal and shameful part of Canadian history, renowned artist Carey Newman brilliantly guides us through the meticulous and thoughtful process of creating one of the most important pieces of art to exist in this country. I had the privilege of experiencing the Witness Blanket on its tour, and it was a poignant moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Reading how it all came together is yet another vital experience. Like the Witness Blanket itself, Picking Up the Pieces will educate and enlighten Canadians for generations to come. It's a must-read for anyone seeking to understand Canada's residential-school saga. Most importantly, it's a touchstone of community for those survivors and their families still on the path to healing." - Waubgeshig Rice, journalist and author of Moon of the Crusted Snow

"Picking up the Pieces is in its own way as powerful as the Blanket itself. In the stories connected to each item, collected from residential schools in every province and territory, Carey has found a profound but gentle, loving way to teach readers about our shared history. The respect with which he treats these items and the powerful stories enfolded within them allows us to move from understanding to acceptance to a shared, deep sadness. Carey’s contributions to reconciliation are monumental and will help educate all Canadians as we move through this difficult period of growth and on to a healthy shared future." - The Honourable Judith Guichon, former Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia

"Objects, like people, tell stories; stories are inscribed in places and belongings as well as in books, and they carry wonder as well as wounding. This heartbreaking, eye-opening and transformative visual chronicle of Carey Newman’s Witness Blanket is a profound record of Canada’s residential school system and the Indigenous students who endured, suffered and survived it. But far more than that, it restores and re-stories the collective will of Survivors and their families to document, narrate and understand that history on their own terms, through the material objects and belongings that emerged from that harrowing history and its legacies. In a time when superficial notions of reconciliation so often ignore the challenging realities of settler colonial violence against Indigenous Peoples, Picking Up the Pieces insists on returning truth fully to our conversations about Truth and Reconciliation. Read this book. Share it. Live it. Most of all, honour its call to better relations, now and in the future." - Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation), Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture, author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter

? “A chronicle that will galvanize many young artists with their own history to honor, and Americans will see parallels with our country’s history of assimilationist schooling.” - The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books, starred review

“Historic and current photographs and artwork frequently complement the engaging text, which is written in a personal and compelling style…Picking Up the Pieces has the feeling of a coffee-table book while presenting substantive content.” - Booklist

“Primary sources are wonderful tools for teaching history...This book is highly recommended...A nicely executed, integral part of Canadian history that can be compared to the American atrocities regarding Native Americans and which deserves a spot in the library.” - School Library Connection

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