Grade 11 Seaton students Melanie Shum (left) and Emily Aoki walk through the national internment exhibit

Grade 11 Seaton students Melanie Shum (left) and Emily Aoki walk through the national internment exhibit

Exhibit sheds light on dark past

Exhibit at Greater Vernon Museum takes a look at internment camp

Sisters Andrea Malysh and Lois Campbell and the staff of the Greater Vernon Museum are not letting a dark corner of Canada’s history be forgotten.

Through the Barbed Wire Solution exhibit, they are educating people on First World War internment camps.

“Our grandparents came to Canada for freedom, land, democracy, but during Canada’s First World War internment operations, they forever lived in fear that they could be interned at any time.” said Malysh, program manager for the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.

Malysh and Campbell carry their grandparents’ registration cards with them as a reminder of their grandparents’ struggle.

The exhibit is a learning tool that Malysh hopes will be utilized by teachers and the public.

Internment camps are not only a strong Canadian story but an important part of Vernon’s history. Vernon and 23 other internment camps across Canada imprisoned Ukrainian and other European descendents and their families.

The exhibit details one of the more prominent internment camps, among others, that was located where W.L. Seaton Secondary School now stands.

Grade 11 student Emily Aoki walks through the exhibit with her classmate Melanie Shum.

“It is interesting because the place where we learn is the place where people were imprisoned,” said Aoki.

The national exhibit has been given permanently to the Greater Vernon Museum but will only be on display until June.

As well, a visual reminder of the Vernon camp will be a mural unveiled by artist Michelle Loughery on the side of the Sutton building June 15.