Indigenous Culture & Heritage    News

National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

In the wake of an overwhelming month of news, learning more about our collective history and acting on positive change to make our society more inclusive, understanding and equitable is at the front of our minds. For National Indigenous Peoples Day, the BCMA asks you to commit yourself to learn more about the Indigenous Peoples who have been on these lands since time before memory, and put these learnings into practice in your professional lives.

As many Indigenous colleagues and partners have been focused on supporting their communities in response to the discoveries of burial sites at residential schools across the country, Koy Tayler and Leia Patterson, the BCMA’s Indigenous Engagement team, have put together some key decolonization, repatriation, and allyship resources for non-Indigenous museums and heritage organizations to read and learn from. You can also listen to Koy and Leia in conversation about these resources on the BCMA’s podcast channel or through the link below.

The BCMA would like to recognize that the work and knowledge found in these resources has been informed and provided by Indigenous communities over decades. We encourage all non-Indigenous museums and heritage organizations to learn about and find ways to support Indigenous communities in their region and to expand on their knowledge regularly.

We encourage members to reach out with their go-to resources, or to connect with us at any time! We are happy to chat with you!

Koy Tayler:

Leia Patterson:

Listen to the Podcast

Listen to Indigenous Outreach & Partnership Coordinator Koy Tayler and
Learning Resource Coordinator Leia Patterson, discuss their thoughts on four different resources.

Click Here

Resources Discussed in the Podcast:

Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015)

More in-depth content from the TRC regarding the Commission’s findings and recommendations. BCMA recommends reading the section “Role of Canada’s museums and archives in education for reconciliation" on page 246.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The UN Declaration emphasizes the Indigenous peoples' rights to live in dignity, to maintain and strengthen Indigenous institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue self-determined development, in keeping with Indigenous needs and aspirations. The Province of BC passed legislation adopting UNDRIP in 2019, and the sector should be preparing to implement these principles in practice.

Indigenous Repatriation Handbook

From the Royal BC Museum, the Indigenous Repatriation Handbook was published in 2019, prepared by Jisgang Nika Collison, Sdaahl K’awaas Lucy Bell and Lou-ann Neel. A great tool for museums to recognize the process from the Indigenous lens, with a full chapter on how museums can assist.

Unist'ot'en: Resources on Allyship and Solidarity

Written by Dr. Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe, this list outlines both the Ally Bill of Responsibilities, as well as Allyship and Solidarity guidelines. A great read to go back to as we work together to dismantle systems of colonial oppression in our institutions.

Other Posts from the BCMA:

Steps Museums and Museum Professionals Can Take to Make a Difference

There are tangible, concrete steps that museums and museum professionals can take today that can make a difference. If you are offended, saddened, or enraged by the findings at Residential Schools across the country here are things you can do to take action.

What is #Cancel CanadaDay?

In response to the discovery of unmarked burial sites of children’s remains at the sites of former residential schools in British Columbia and Manitoba, the #CancelCanadaDay hashtag has trended and many are calling upon organizations and institutions to cancel Canada Day celebrations in 2021 and use this day to reflect on the lives lost to the Canadian State and to ongoing colonial violence.

Repatriation Call to Action

The BCMA calls upon all publicly-funded institutions to repatriate ancestral human remains and burial items. Launched on International Museums Day as part of BC Museums Week, the BCMA is asking all institutions to respond to actionable steps in support of this crucial step towards reconciliation.