Dear Canoo Members,

In June, National Indigenous History Month honours the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous communities, and the importance of preserving Indigenous culture, languages and livelihoods. 

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of Treaties 1 and 2, the 100th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 11, and the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day. Historic Treaties, like Treaties 1, 2 and 11, are an agreement between the Government of Canada and the Indigenous People, outlining rights and obligations on both sides. Historic Treaties only address a portion of Indigenous rights to land, and negotiations are still underway in the form of Modern Treaties.

As new Canadian citizens, Canadian history is also your history. It is important to work towards the establishment and maintenance of mutual respect with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. This begins with learning about Canada’s treatment of Indigenous People, and its commitment to reconciliation. Read about the Indigenous history of Canada, the outstanding works of Indigenous People in history, the urgent issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and the Residential Schools of Canada.

The ICC team adds our voices to the collective grief & anger echoing across Turtle Island and the world following the public uncovering of the unmarked burial site in Kamloops. As settlers on this land, we send our sympathy & love to our Indigenous partners at this moment and all with heavy hearts. The murder of Indigenous children in residential schools is not history. The last school closed in 1996. Survivors of that school are, at most, in their early 40s. This is an active trauma. It is a living memory, & it represents the destruction of thousands of families. The atrocities suffered by Indigenous children and families over seven generations in these schools is not new information, but many Canadians, both those here by choice & by birth, have never been educated on the truth of settler & Indigenous relations in Canada.

Through this newsletter, I hope that you will find experiences and exhibits that will enrich your knowledge of Indigenous culture and art. Culture is preserved through different means, and the way you support Indigenous efforts to cultural preservation is important in creating strong community relationships.

Please continue to wear your masks and remain socially distanced, and check your region’s guidelines and regulations. In regions of the country where it is still safe to visit venues, please follow all health guidelines that the venue has in place. Although we are updating the Canoo app, please always check the website of the venue or call ahead to find out about safety protocols and/or temporary closures in advance of visiting.

Hiba, Membership Experience Specialist

Check out the collections of these museums for free online or in person, and be sure to check with the venue before visiting:

  1. Lincoln Museum & Cultural Centre (Jordan, Ontario)
  2. Yukon Transportation Museum (Whitehorse, Yukon Territory) 
  3. Portage College Museum of Aboriginal Peoples’ Art & Artifacts (Lac La Biche, Alberta) 
  4. Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) 
  5. Canadian Canoe Museum (Peterborough, Ontario) 
  6. National Museum of History (Gatineau, Quebec) 

First People of Canada at the Canadian Museum of History

The First People Of Canada virtual exhibition looks at some of the history of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, underlining their fight for cultural survival and indicating the wealth of their modern-day contributions. It is based largely on information and artifacts presented in the First Peoples Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Acts of Resistance at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Acts of Resistance showcases the artwork of seven indigenous artist activists from the Pacific Northwest, whose designs flew from the Iron Workers Memorial bridge on July 3, 2018 to protest the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline project – a pipeline which would carry tar sands oil through the territories of Indigenous nations without their consent. Tour the virtual exhibit here.

Caroline Monnet: Ninga Mìnèh at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Ninga Mìnèh is the first personal exhibition of Caroline Monnet in a Canadian museum. The multidisciplinary artist of Algonquin and French heritage explores, through her art, questions of identity, particularly in her maternal Indigenous roots. Find out more here.

Recognize National indigenous History Month with Parks Canada

Riding Mountain National Park is home to Anishinabe who have contributed to many historical events shaping the relationships of today. Click here and take the time to watch the videos that speak to the relationships between local Indigenous Nations and Treaties. For more information on Indigenous experiences and connections, check out Parks Canada’s website here.

First Fishers at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

For more than 13,500 years, the Mi’kmaq have lived in Mi’kma’ki – their ancestral territory comprised of what is now known as Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as well as parts of New Brunswick, Quebec, Newfoundland and Maine. This new exhibit explores this long history.

#MyPandemicStory with the Royal Ontario Museum 

#MyPandemicStory invites kids and teens between the ages of four and 18 to share their stories, personal experiences and perspectives from the past year through original work in any format they choose – this could be a song, painting, poem, drawing or video. Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of ROM staff and advisors this summer and a final selection will be featured in a free ROM exhibition launching in Fall 2021.The window for submissions is open now until June 27. Parents and guardians can submit on behalf of their children through social media using the hashtag #MyPandemicStory and tagging @ROMtoronto, or can upload directly here. Don’t forget to review the submission guide before making a submission. 

“With Canoo, I am part of a bigger whole.”

Meet Canoo Member Sajeela Naseer Siddiqui. Sajeela often visits Canoo venues such as the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and loves being able to share these experiences with her sister. Sajeela recently shared with us how being a Canoo member has made her feel more connected to her community and confident in being her unique self. Read Sajeela’s full story here.

Would YOU like to be featured in our next newsletter? This month only, fill out this questionnaire about your Canoo journey to be eligible to be featured in our July Canoo Spotlight and to win a $20 gift card to Amazon. Deadline to enter is June 14th. Winners will be contacted by email.

New Canoo Attraction: Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre

The Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre: Home of the Jordan Historical Museum of the Twenty is dedicated to the interpretation, exhibition, research, collection, and preservation of past, present, and future narratives relevant to the Town and the Niagara Region. 

The museum building includes four gallery spaces with two exhibits on permanent display and two galleries that rotate exhibits. The site is home to two historic buildings: a stone schoolhouse, built in 1859 and restored to 1908, and the Fry House a two story log family home built in 1815. This new Canoo attraction is now available on the Canoo App! Visit their website here.

Take action to give internationally trained medical doctors an #EqualChance to practice in Canada

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) launched #EqualChance, a campaign asking Canadians to take action against the unfair barriers faced by internationally trained medical doctors to practice in Canada.

Even after having their credentials recognized, and passing the Canadian qualifying exams, trained medical doctors internationally are still prevented from practicing medicine

Take action by joining #EqualChance here requesting equity based changes to the pathway to practice medicine for internationally trained medical doctors.