The institutionalization of British Columbians with disabilities lasted nearly 100 years
From: Inclusion BC
December 1st, 2021
For nearly a century, British Columbians with disabilities were forced out of their communities and into oppressive institutions.
Inclusion: The Journey to Community is an interactive exhibition capturing this period in BC's history. The exhibition opened on December 1st in Port Moody, and everyone is welcomed to attend its virtual launch.
When: December 3, 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM
THE DARK YEARS
The institutionalization of people with intellectual disabilities in B.C. began more than 100 years ago with the creation of Woodlands institution in New Westminster.
It ended on October 21, 1996, when Woodlands’ last two residents moved to their new homes in the community. With their departure, B.C. became the first province in Canada to close all of its large institutions for people with intellectual disabilities.
Inclusion: The Journey to Community captures Woodlands' history through a series of newspaper clippings, interactive elements, and borrowed pieces of From the inside/out! exhibition.
Former residents of Woodlands will also provided guided tours, sharing their stories of the institution and of how they're now thriving in the community.
The era of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities who lived in institutions is largely unknow or misunderstood by most people in our province.
Too often, it is only through the recollection of former residents, their families, and the community organizations that supported their journey to community that this story is told and kept live.