In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) concluded its public inquiry into the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system and issued a final report containing 94 Calls to Action. The TRC’s final report covers a wide breadth of subjects, including Canada’s approach to historical memorialisation and the protection of Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural rights. Under Call to Action #67, the TRC calls upon:
… the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Museums Association to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to make recommendations.
The CMA is working closely with its Reconciliation Council and other stakeholders across the country to survey and collect feedback, identify key issues, and ultimately produce and disseminate a report with clear recommendations for the inclusion and representation of Indigenous communities within museums and cultural centres.
A final report is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.
In 2018 the CMA established a Reconciliation Council, a cohesive and influential body of experts in Indigenous culture and museum practices, who are providing guidance and advice to address Call to Action #67.
As the advisory body to the CMA, the Council believes that museums, art galleries and related institutions have a responsibility to consult, advocate, decolonise, reorganise and collaborate with First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities to help build a diverse and socially inclusive world, and affirms its commitment to promote reconciliation.
Reconciliation Council members include:
- Grant Anderson, Manitoba Indigenous and Northern Relations, Winnipeg MB
- Catherine Bell, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
- Stephen Borys, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg MB
- Nika Collison, Haida Gwaii Museum, Skidegate BC
- Alan Elder, Manager, First Peoples and Early, Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau QC
- Sharon McLeod, University College of the North, The Pas MB
- Sarah Pashagumskum, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute, Oujé-Bougoumou, QC
- Marie-Paule Robitaille, Musée de la civilisation (retired), Québec QC
- Anthony Shelton, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC
The Council is supported by CMA staff Dr. Vanda Vitali (Executive Director and CEO), Sue Lamothe (Deputy Director, Finance and Operations), and SM Leduc (Reconciliation Museologist).
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada.
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- CMA/AFN Task Force Report on Museums and First Peoples (1994)
- Media release (July 23, 2019) announcing SM Leduc as Reconciliation Museologist
- Media release (April 16, 2019) announcing Heritage Canada funding for the Reconciliation Program
- Media release (May 1, 2018) outlining creation of the Reconciliation Working Group
- CMA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion
For all inquiries related to the Reconciliation Program, please contact Ms. SM Leduc, Reconciliation Museologist at the Canadian Museums Association
Financial support for the CMA’s Reconciliation Program is provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The CMA secretariat is located on the traditional lands of the Anishnaabeg People. CMA is grateful for the opportunity to live and learn on this territory in mutual respect and gratitude.