BC Museums Association and Animikii Help Museums Learn Wise Practices to Redress Harms of Colonialism
The British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA) and Animikii Indigenous Technology are partnering to co-develop a new online course offering wise practices for arts, culture, and museum workers to support decolonization.
Museums, galleries, and heritage organizations across British Columbia have begun to recognize how their work perpetuates colonialism and associated harms to Indigenous communities. Increasingly museums want to redress these harms but as a result, many Indigenous knowledge holders, cultural professionals, and communities feel increasingly overwhelmed by requests for consultation, guidance, and advice. To actively support reconciliation and redress, museums have to take action themselves without burdening Indigenous communities to do this long-overdue work for them.
Through this new partnership with Animikii, the BCMA will work with Indigenous cultural professionals to offer museums and heritage organizations wise practices to prevent unintentional harm to Indigenous communities while they work towards reconciliation, decolonization, and redress. This online course will include interviews, case studies, and readings that explore successes and failures to help museum and heritage professionals create localized practices that will support meaningful and trusting relationship-building with Indigenous communities.
“Museums are deeply rooted in colonial histories and it’s important for organizations to educate themselves on systems of continued harm they benefit from. This course can be one tool for organizations to see a better path forward while removing points of potential harm or re-traumatization for Indigenous knowledge holders and cultural professionals,” says Jordan Coble (c̓ris), chair of the BCMA Indigenous Advisory Committee and Councillor, Westbank First Nation.
“Animikii is excited to have this project as a major focus of our impact efforts. We see this as an important way to extend our technology built for empowerment into communities who need it. Our team is excited to support the efforts of the BCMA as they take meaningful actions toward truth and reconciliation in their sector with this Indigenous-led and trauma-informed learning tool,” Jeff Ward, CEO Animikii.
Work will begin in Fall 2022 with community and museum consultations happening in the Fall and Winter. The BCMA hopes to launch a beta version of the course in 2023.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Province of British Columbia through the 150 Time Immemorial Grant Program and the Government of Canada through the Museum Assistance Program’s Digital Access to Heritage grant.