Thursday, September 30, is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
As part of the museum’s commitment to decolonization and reconciliation, and to recognize this important date, the M(M)A will be closed on September 30. We encourage everyone, including the M(M)A team, visitors, and supporters to use this day for reflection, and to engage in acts of reconciliation through education and participation in community events.
The federal statutory holiday was made in response to one of the 94 Calls to Action established in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, and is meant to offer a day of healing for survivors, families and communities, and for public acknowledgement of the harmful history of and intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools. While we recognize that this day is an important step towards reconciliation, we acknowledge that reconciliation is an ongoing process which requires all Canadian to work towards dismantling colonial practices and supporting the completion of all 94 Calls to Action.
Over the past two years, the museum has been working internally to decolonize our own policies and procedures. Today we are sharing a small list of readings that our team collected and read throughout this process, which may be useful to other groups or organizations:
Readings and Reports:
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007
Understanding Aboriginal Arts in Canada Today: A Knowledge & Literature Review, 2011, France Trepanier and Chris Creighton, for the Canada Council for the Arts
Honouring the Truth, Reconciling the Future, 2015, Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, 1989, Peggy McIntosh
Decolonization is not a metaphor, 2012, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang
Turning the Page: Forging new Partnerships Between Museums and First Peoples, Task Force on Museums and First Peoples, 1987-1994
Troubling Good Intentions, 2013, Sarah de Leeuw et al
A phenomenology of whiteness, 2011, Sara Ahmed
White Fragility, 2011, Robin DiAngelo
Decolonizing the Art Museum, The Next Wave, 2018, Olga Viso for The New York Times
What Does it Mean to Decolonize a Museum, Elisa Shoenberger, 2021, MuseumNext
Offensive Artwork Titles in Canadian Museums: What’s in a
Name?, Rosie Prata, 2016, Canadian Art
21 Things you may not know about the Indian Act, Bob Joseph, 2018.
Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality, Bob Joseph, 2019.
Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada’s Lost Promise and One Girl’s Dream, Charlie Angus, 2015.
We recognize that extra support may be required on September 30th. Below is a list of resources available to the public and the McMaster community:
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day.
Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266
Hope for Wellness Help Line, 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca
Donations can also be made to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society: irsss.ca
McMaster community members seeking support can contact:
Indigenous Wellness Counsellor, Indigenous Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) – for students
Indigenous Students Health Sciences Office (email@example.com)
Elder-in-Residence, Indigenous Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) – for students and employees
Equity and Inclusion Office (email@example.com) – for students and employees
There is a wide variety of McMaster related events hosted across campus in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
For more details, visit:
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Virtual events at McMaster
Indigenous Studies Program
Indigenous Education Council
The McMaster Museum of Art is partnering with the McMaster Student Wellness Centre to deliver an online program for the McMaster community, Art and Indigenous Connection to Land, 12:30-1:30pm. For details and to register, click here.