Royal BC Museum languages exhibit comes to Local First Nation

·2 min read

On August 11, Tla’amin Nation and the Royal BC Museum paired up to bring the Travelling Exhibition ‘Living Languages’ to Governance House. This exhibition works to celebrate culture and history, helping explain the stories of BC and its diverse cultural regions.

Until January 19, the exhibition is open to the public, to help everyone be able to learn about First Nations heritage, language, and history with the land we inhabit. There will be cultural art, lessons on the 34 languages spoken throughout the province and the work to keep them alive, and there will be interactive stations where video and audio can be used to give a deeper understanding of BC history, and much more.

A major part of reconciliation is understanding where people have come from. Without that understanding, it is hard to move forward in order to make things right. This exhibition is a way to learn about the past, in a way that is interactive and located in a captivating environment with a deep historical feel. Taking the time to visit, and listen, is taking a step needed to learn about another culture in a respectful manner, which is the exact direction needed for reconciliation.

On the note of working for reconciliation, the Powell River Historical Museum and Archive Association is looking into updating its operations. In a media release, they announced that the museum is looking at evolving their artifacts and historical information, shifting from the settler perspective to a more Indigenous perspective.

The museum has gained more Indigenous art, tools, and other First Nations relics to put on display in recent years. In this notion of moving forward, the museum is now having conversations on changing its dated name. A new name would represent the museum’s more geographical practices, and work to explain an accurate share of the region’s history. In the effort of reconciliation, this is a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully, other museums will take on this step too, because there really are many different perspectives of the past than that of colonialism and settlers.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s ‘Calls to Action’ explained that ethically, museums have the responsibility of telling more than one party’s view of the past and to foster national reconciliation. The Powell River Museum is definitely on the right path, with a more diverse and culturally sensitive approach coming soon.

Abby Francis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, qathet Living

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