The Powell River Historical Museum and Archives will consider changing its name.
In a press release, the museum said it is committed to improving relations in a spirit of reconciliation and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to live and learn in this land.
“Before we begin the discussion of a future name adjustment, we first recognize that the Powell River Historical Museum and Archives are located on the traditional territory of the Tla’amin Nation,” the statement said. “To explain why our name is currently under discussion, we must first talk about the role of museums in communities and in creating national narratives.”
The museum’s board of directors and staff recognize and recognize that museums across the country witnessed and contributed to colonial and erasure practices committed against First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, the statement said. .
“At the very origin of cabinets of curiosities, museums are largely the product of colonialism. During their travels around the world, Europeans bought, stole and received various relics from cultures around the world, which they brought back to museums in their countries of origin.
“Today, museums continue to house and collect artifacts of cultural and ceremonial significance, and to interpret history and stories that did not belong to us or that have completely omitted perspectives.”
Over the past 50 years, the Powell River Historical Museum and Archives has collected, preserved and presented regional history.
“However, like many museums and archives in Canada, our museum has focused primarily on collecting and interpreting the history and perspective of the settlers. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action identified museums and archives and their role in colonialism, and noted that “museums have an ethical responsibility to foster national reconciliation, not just telling the story. of the past of a party ”.
The statement said these words, combined with the calls to action, will continue to guide the museum’s work in the community, as well as the museum’s relationship with the Tla’amin Nation and surrounding Indigenous communities.
“Museums have continued to evolve over the years and today many of our museums, including Powell River, recognize that they need to do better. The Powell River Historical Museum and Archives recognizes the need for change and is committed to meeting our responsibility to the people of the Qathet Regional District and the Tla’amin Nation by making this community museum more representative of the local Indigenous narrative and culture. way he informed the provincial and national authorities. story.”
The museum is in the process of making incremental changes, starting with conversations about a name adjustment, the statement said.
“Not only will these changes more faithfully represent museum practices geographically, but we also believe this is an important step, among many to come, in continuing the tangible process of reconciliation and reconciliation. to accurately tell the story of our region.
“We ask for the patience and understanding of the public during this time. We are also working on a plan to guide our reconciliation efforts and hope to work closely with the community and with the Tla’amin Nation in this regard. The museum looks forward to sharing this plan with the community once it is completed.