An exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History that will focus on the international experiences of Indigenous peoples of Canada is seeking submissions until Jan. 31.
“We’re looking for stories or oral histories about people from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities who have travelled the globe. They could be well-known or lesser-known stories. They can be recent or going back centuries. Those stories can involve, for example, individuals or groups who have travelled the world as diplomats, warriors/soldiers, performers, artists, scholars and athletes,” said Jonathan Lainey, Curator, First Peoples, Canadian Museum of History.
“People are invited to share stories that happened to them first-hand, or a member of their family, or community, or stories that are part of oral history,” he continued.
“We would like to hear them and to consider them for possible inclusion in the exhibition or supporting platforms. We are also interested in knowing about any objects that people might have, or be aware of, that connect to the stories.”
The purpose of the exhibition is “to share the stories of how Indigenous peoples in Canada have asserted and continue to assert their sovereignty and identities beyond borders,” said Lainley.
“This exhibition provides the opportunity to show the agency, leadership, vision, creativity and courage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. To highlight the perspectives and points of view of Indigenous peoples, the exhibition team is seeking input from Indigenous communities and individuals who would be willing to share their stories. By seeking these stories from Indigenous peoples across Canada, it will ensure that the exhibition reflects the voices, experiences and perspectives of those whose stories are being told.”
In addition, community consultation will be an important part of the exhibition.
“The content of the exhibition will be developed with the input of an advisory committee of external scholars and cultural experts who will advise on respectful exhibition development, content, and approach. Communities will also be consulted as we want to work in collaboration with them to present these stories,” Lainey explained.
“In keeping with the Museum’s commitment to develop and foster strong and respectful relationships with Indigenous communities, the curatorial team, comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous curators, will work in collaboration with the individuals and communities associated with the stories selected for the exhibition. As the cultural ownership and traditional knowledge inherent to the stories shared are important to the museum, the exhibition’s curatorial team will also benefit from the help of an external advisory committee, composed of Indigenous experts.”
To share a story, visit www.historymuseum.ca/indigenous-stories, where stories can be input into a form (13,000 characters maximum). Photos, images of objects, or documents can also be uploaded (4 files maximum, 5MB each. Files allowed: jpg, pdf, docx, doc, txt). Stories can also be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final deadline is Jan. 31. The museum, which is located in Gatineau, Que., cannot guarantee that it will be able to include every story in the exhibition. Stories not used in the exhibition directly may be used for other related platforms, and for archival and research purposes at the museum.