Lyana Patrick’s grandmother left her a gift of family memories when she passed away.
A photo exhibition of what was in the Stellat’en woman’s suitcase proved to be an emotional journey for her granddaughter.
The suitcase was given to Patrick after her grandmother died, but she couldn’t bring herself to open it for years.
Patrick says opening the suitcase and going through its contents was a cathartic experience.
The photo exhibition at UBC has given Patrick a chance to reconnect with her past, but also to look forward.
She adds it provides a safe place for people to discuss issues such as residential schools, colonialism, and reconciliation.
The suitcase not only helped Patrick connect with her grandmother, but it also brought her closer with her father.
Patrick says while the exhibition brings forth traumatic family experiences, it ultimately highlights the positives in her family.
The exhibition is on display at UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issue’s lobby gallery.
It runs until the end of January.