Category Archives: Theme Week

Beyond Inclusion – Decolonising through Self-Representation in Eeyou Istchee

Our research philosophy: ‘Nothing about us, without us’ For museums outside of Eeyou Istchee [1], we ask that we are consulted and treated as partners for any interpretative work on collections from our region. Museums need to understand that we are experts on all aspects of our culture. We ask that museums, archives and heritage repositories do not reproduce or… Read more »

The Unholy Trifecta of behind-the-scenes worker, museum visitor, and front-line staff

Alexandra Cherry When you work at a Museum, you live in one of two professional worlds: behind the scenes, or front of house. Front-line staff can include those working at the ticket counter, educators, security guards, cleaning staff, a person who sells memberships, or a gift shop attendant. Their jobs are shaped by visitors who react to the choices made… Read more »

Binding Ties: Family Relationships and the Museum Collection

Nadia Kurd When I was a little girl I can remember my grandmother in the house on the reservation. It had a big sun parlour and the walls of that sun parlour were hung with all these Indian things … When the Duke and Duchess … came the Indians dressed up in clothing from the collection because they didn’t have… Read more »

Boxes of possibility—and frustration

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Laura Peers Museum collections are legacies of imperial and colonial histories. The dynamics of those histories mean that much Indigenous material heritage from what is currently called Canada is not held in Canadian museums. Much of this material resides in overseas museums, especially in Britain. This geographic distance complicates the ability of Indigenous peoples to access ancestral items. As many… Read more »

Museums and Community Partnerships

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Meredith Leonard At Halton Heritage Services, we’re all about working together with our community of heritage partners in sustained relationships of co-creation, collaboration and radical trust. In the last three years, we have engaged with community partners on exhibit development, building animation projects and school-age learning partnerships. Community partnerships are essential to our work at Heritage Services because we no… Read more »

History in Museums: It’s All About Audience, Focus, and Collaboration

B. Erin Cole Museums seem like the perfect place for historians to work, right? You get to talk about the past, teach visitors about why history is important, and show off cool artifacts and images from the collections and archives. It seems like a great job for people who are more interested in working with the public than going into… Read more »

Practicing Theory: What’s Really Happening When You Write Exhibit Text for Museums

John Summers Ostensibly about the preservation, display and interpretation of objects, museums are also full of words. From way-finding signage (as anyone who has ever visited with a small child knows, a successful museum experience can critically depend on being able to locate the nearest washroom!) to fundraising, written text is an important part of what museums do. In the… Read more »

The Life of an Artifact at the Western Development Museum

Alex Emery and Kaiti Hannah The Western Development Museum (WDM) is the largest human history museum in Saskatchewan. We are a network of four museums in four cities (North Battleford, Yorkton, Saskatoon, and Moose Jaw, with a Corporate Office in Saskatoon). As Curatorial Assistants at the Corporate Office, we routinely handle artifact donations and public inquiries. Alex works with the… Read more »

Museum Theme Week Introduction

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Carly Ciufo and Krista McCracken Here at ActiveHistory.ca we define active history as “history that listens and is responsive; history that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; history that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities.” For many of us, Active History is also about community and reaching audiences outside of academia. Active History… Read more »

Piecing Together a Pandemic: Unearthing Elusive, Eclectic & Authentic Stories of the Flu

This is the fourth in a four-part theme week focused on the Spanish Flu and the newly launched Defining Moments Canada project. By Ellen Scheinberg As I was working on a family archival project for a client this month, I learned about the passing of his great uncle, Alfred Benjamin Geldzaeler, from influenza in late October 2018. Alfred, or “Alfie”… Read more »