The Musée de la civilisation has been deeply affected by the grave discoveries at the residential schools and is standing in full solidarity with Indigenous communities. In the coming months, the Musée will take several concrete steps in the spirit of reparation, to demonstrate the importance of denouncing such injustices and educating society about the reality and history of Indigenous communities.
The Musée de la civilization will light its tower orange from July 1 to Orange Shirt Day, on September 30. As a sign of our solidarity, reception staff will wear an orange button or beaded brooch. The Musée’s informational screens will display information explaining to visitors the colour’s symbolism and our gestures of solidarity.
In creating its This is Our Story exhibition, the Musée de la civilisation and La Boîte Rouge vif, an organization dedicated to showcasing Indigenous cultures, met with First Nations and Inuit representatives. Often hundreds of kilometers apart, 18 communities and 800 people participated in this process. The goal of the exhibition is to put the Indigenous perspective centre stage, and its content is regularly updated to present Indigenous realities as accurately as possible. In light of the recent discoveries and in the spirit of solidarity, orange lighting will be added to exhibition elements related to the residential schools, which already present their dark and contentious nature. In keeping with this choice, our guided tour will also be updated. Finally, a special activity will be organized to mark Orange Shirt Day on September 30.
“We are deeply disturbed by the recent discoveries on the sites of former residential schools. In fulfilling our mission as a society museum, we always try to present as accurately as possible the realities of the peoples and civilizations who have shaped our world. We have built bridges with Indigenous communities. We strive to infuse these relationships with respect, recognition and listening, and we look for ways to let people speak for themselves. Today, it is our duty to show solidarity, to accept that we still have much to learn, to move forward together and, above all, to never forget,” -Stéphan La Roche, President and CEO, Musée de la civilisation.