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View of “Canadian and Indigenous Art: From Time Immemorial to 1967,” at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, in 2017. Photo: NGC.

Canadian Museums Association Receives $1 Million to Promote and Preserve Indigenous Culture

On Tuesday, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) announced that more than $1 million will go toward an initiative aimed at amplifying the voices of First Nations communities in 2,600 museums and cultural institutions across the country. Funding is being provided by the government’s Museums Assistance Program (MAP), which supports Canadian museums and cultural professionals in the preservation of heritage collections. 

The CMA Reconciliation Project will receive $680,948 to conduct a national review of museum policies in collaboration with indigenous peoples across Canada and an additional $351,508 to hold professional development workshops, publish newsletters and museology reports, and create online learning modules.

The program was conceived following a report authored by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015, which cited the damages the residential school system had on members of the indigenous community.

“The Canadian Museums Association has an important role to play in the reconciliation process with Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” said the minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism, Pablo Rodriguez. “Cultural spaces, like our museums and other heritage institutions play a fundamental role in bringing our communities together by enriching our understanding of our shared history.”

Elder Carolyn King, former chief of the Mississaugas of Credit Nation, said: “As First Nations, we all have a story to tell about loss. We’re looking to add our story to these buildings. I’m hoping that our story will get told.” 

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