For more than a century, the Canadian government operated a network of Indian residential schools that were meant to assimilate young indigenous students into western Canadian culture. Indian agents would take children, as young as two or three years old, from their homes and send them to church-run boarding schools where they were punished for speaking their native languages or observing any indigenous traditions. They were sexually and physically assaulted routinely, and in some extreme instances, subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization.
The last residential school closed in 1996. The Canadian government issued its first formal apology in 2008.
Generations of Canada’s First Nations forgot who they were. Languages died out, sacred ceremonies were criminalized and suppressed. These double exposure portraits explore the trauma of some of the 80,000 living survivors who remain. Through extensive accompanying interviews, they address the impact of intergenerational trauma and lateral violence, documenting the slow path toward healing.
Daniella Zalcman (Women Photograph, b. 1986) is a Vietnamese-American documentary photographer based in New Orleans. She is a multiple grantee of the National Geographic Society and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the founder of Women Photograph—a nonprofit working to elevate the voices of women and nonbinary visual journalists.
Her work focuses on the legacies of Western colonization, from the rise of homophobia in East Africa to the forced assimilation education of Indigenous children in North America. She is also a co-founder of Indigenous Photograph, a co-founder and creative director of We, Women, and one of the co-authors of the Photo Bill of Rights.
Zalcman is a proud member of the Authority Collective and Diversify Photo, as well as a member of the board of trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and the board of directors of the ACOS Alliance. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in architecture in 2009.
The Pulitzer Center raises awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across all media platforms and a unique program of education and public outreach. We support over 200 reporting projects a year, in partnership with more than 150 news organizations with an increasing focus on regional and local outlets to ensure we are reaching diverse audiences. We are raising awareness of the interconnected nature of the greatest challenges of our times and pointing to possible solutions. We serve global public-interest journalism by engaging wide audiences on deeply reported topics and inspiring the next generation to value credible news and cross-cultural understanding.
Signs of Your Identity
Featuring: Daniella Zalcman
Curated by: Evey Wilson
LocationsView Location Details Download a detailed map of this location Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza
1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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