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Legacy of Hope exhibits go on display at Hamilton’s central police station

The Legacy of Hope Foundation exhibits aim to increase public awareness about challenges facing Indigenous peoples, including the history and impacts of the residential school system.

A display has been launched at Hamilton’s central police station, intended to promote healing and encourage acts of reconciliation.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation exhibits aim to increase public awareness about challenges facing Indigenous Peoples, including the history and impacts of the residential school system.

Thursday’s opening ceremony included a smudging, ceremonial fire and songs.

The exhibits are on loan to Hamilton police until December 2021.

Read more: Estimated 751 unmarked graves found at former Saskatchewan residential school

Hamilton Police Chief Frank Bergen acknowledged that the service has not always been the easiest partner. “Policing can be messy, and in many cases, there has been historic conflict and challenges with people feeling comfortable with police.”

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“Our men and women of this organization through the ‘Legacy of Hope,'” said Bergen, “will have that opportunity to learn, will have that opportunity to listen and hopefully have that opportunity to grow, on that journey of building trust.”

Read more: ‘I blamed my mother’: How residential school trauma passed down generation to generation

Bergen added that he’s grateful the Indigenous community has allowed them to be part of the Legacy of Hope, “they’re demonstrating that they’ll continue to give us the opportunity to build that trust.”

Since 2000, the Legacy of Hope Foundation has worked with Indigenous communities, researchers, curators and educators to develop educational resources to increase public awareness of the history and effects of the Residential School System, and the challenges Indigenous Peoples continue to face.

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