Listen, Learn, Act

Jun 03, 2021
Content warning: The following section references Canada’s residential school systems. Jump to Sector News

At the OMA we share the grief and outrage that so many have expressed during this past week after the unmarked graves of 215 children were found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. 

That we wish to support our Indigenous colleagues for whom the personal and professional implications of colonialism take a daily toll should not go unsaid. We strive to ensure that the Ontario museum community is an inclusive space where those of us who are settlers in settler institutions do the work of decolonization and support Indigenous self-determination and cultural renewal.

As we all continue our reconciliation efforts as a museum community, the OMA looks forward to fostering the ongoing learning and collaboration that will result in meaningful change. 

For those who may need them:
  • A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. The emotional and crisis referral services can be accessed by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.
  • The Indian Residential School Survivors Society offers a crisis line for grief, crisis, and trauma counselling: 1-800-721-0066
We encourage all to read and listen to the words of Indigenous leaders:
Over the years, Indigenous museum professionals and organizations have generously shared their work with Ontario's museum sector. We encourage museums to learn from the teachings and example of Indigenous Elders, colleagues and organizations.

Please find more resources for Indigenous Culture and Reconciliation HERE.

In March 2021, 250 Indigenous and non-Indigenous museum professionals gathered online for the second Indigenous Collections Symposium: 
Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin – strengthening our bonds, sharing our practices
The recordings of the Symposium are now available to all HERE.
Actions you can take in your work:

-Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Calls 67-70 specifically refer to the work of museums and archives

-Participants of the Indigenous Collections Symposium 2021 shared how they would apply what they learned at the Symposium:
  • Making the time to listen, learn, understand
  • Thinking about large decolonization and reconciliation frameworks; and taking small steps everyday
  • Sharing information with colleagues, providing training when possible
  • Recognizing the importance of language, traditional practices and policies; reflecting on how these are being accounted for in my institutional context
  • Advocating for funding and striving to obtain the resources necessary to do the work
  • Start communicating with Indigenous communities
  • When asking for help, being considerate towards the time and priorities of Indigenous colleagues and community members
-Consider a donation to an Indigenous museum, cultural centre, community, or support organization
At the OMA
Celebrate Volunteers who inspire #OMAAwards2021
Deadline: June 18, 2021

After 17 years in the navy, Graeme returned to his native Kingston and approached the Murney Tower Museum with a strong idea for an exhibit. He became Volunteer Director of the institution only a year later and has served the museum ever since. Although he had a full-time job, he dedicated countless hours to excel in his multiple responsibilities as Museum Director. He also made training a priority, and graduated with an OMA Certificate in Museum Studies.

Impressive? We thought so. Graeme received the Volunteer Service Award of Excellence in 2020.
Do you know a volunteer like Graeme? Do you share his dedication? Nominate your colleagues or yourself for an OMA Award of Excellence by June 18!

Send us your Nominations
New and Renewing OMA Members
Beyond Classrooms Kingston
Hammond Museum of Radio
Hutchison House Museum
Killaloe Heritage and Ecology Society
Rainy River District Women's Institute Museum
Taras Shevchenko Museum
Bell Homestead National Historic Site
Bobby Orr Hall of Fame
City of Waterloo Museum
Lambton Heritage Museum
London Regional Children's Museum
Fanshawe Pioneer Village - London & Middlesex Heritage Museum
Massey Area Museum
Niagara Falls Museums
Orillia Museum of Art & History
Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum
Scugog Shores Museum Village & Archives
The Friends of Algonquin Park
Aga Khan Museum
Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art
Upper Canada Village
Sector News
Ontario Investing in Community Museums

The Ontario government is investing more than $4.9 million through the Community Museum Operating Grant to support community museums across our province.  

Details were provided on June 1st by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Minister MacLeod was joined by Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, who sponsored a private member’s bill that led to the creation of Ontario Day, which will be commemorated annually on June 1.

The grant provides operating funding to eligible community museums, which may be used to fund staff salaries and museum maintenance, or for building and preserving collections, exhibitions and educational programs. This year’s funding may also help community museums meet their financial obligations, protect jobs and renovate facilities as they manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more HERE.
Watch the Minister's announcement HERE. 

Note: This funding announcement in the CMOG program is the annual allocation for the CMOG program, not an additional public investment. 

A Statement from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries: 

"As many of you will have seen, the Minister announced the annual Community Museum Operating Grant funding on June 1. The 2021-22 CMOG application has not been posted yet, though the date will be confirmed soon. MHSTCI will send an email to the organization contacts on file when the program launches and is live for application submission. CMOG continues to be restricted to applicants who received funding in the previous fiscal year."
Ontario Maintains COVID-19 Restrictions as Stay-at-Home Order is Set to Expire

As was previously announced, Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order will expire on June 2, 2021. When it does, all other public health and workplace measures will remain in place province-wide until Ontario enters Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen, at which point some restrictions will ease with an initial focus on outdoor settings.

However, all other existing measures will remain in place provincewide, including restrictions on gatherings, businesses, services and activities. 

A simple, easy-to-understand summary of restrictions can be found on the province’s “Reopening Ontario” webpage, which provides details on what public health measures are in place before the province enters Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen

Read more HERE.

Non-profit Sector Covid-19 Impact Survey
Ontario Nonprofit Network and l'Assemblée de la Francophonie de l'Ontario

The Ontario Nonprofit Network and l'Assemblée de la Francophonie de l’Ontario have released a new COVID-19 impact survey to evaluate the pandemic’s impact on the non-profit sector. The survey collects vital data on the financial, operational, and human resource impacts of the pandemic on your organization, barriers to supports, and rebuilding opportunities and challenges.

The survey is open to all non-profits in Ontario with a mission to serve a public benefit. Data collected will support a rebuilding strategy that meets the needs of the diverse communities across Ontario.

Survey closes June 4th – complete the survey here!

In the Media
Simcoe County Museum to remove and return 19 Indigenous artifacts
The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre launches 'History InSite'
This is what the Canadian Canoe Museum near Toronto will look like
Donation to the Canadian Museum of Nature will advance insect and biodiversity research
What's On
The Crowd Went Wild! Canadian Baseball's Love Affair with the Railway
June 17, 2021 (7:00 PM - 8:30 PM)
Toronto Railway Museum
Writing Family History–Turning Research into Shareable Stories–Part 1
June 12, 2021 (1:00 PM - 2:30 PM)
Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives
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The OMA Welcomes Your Support

If you are already an OMA member, please renew your membership when you receive an email reminder. If you are not a member, please consider joining, either as an institution or an individual. You can find information about member categories and benefits on our website.

Please also consider making a donation to the OMA on our website or through Canada Helps.

Your support of the OMA and your participation in events make us stronger as a sector, and we appreciate each and everyone one of you.

An OMA membership connects you with our network of over 1000 members, representing 700 museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the province. In addition, an OMA membership provides you with the latest news via the ONmuseums newsletter, eNews alerts, and COVID-19 resources to mitigate impact for Ontario museums, galleries and heritage sites.

COVID-19 Resources

The OMA has prepared a dedicated webpage of COVID-19 communications and resources, updated as new information and resources become available.
Read more HERE.

We're Here to Help!

For all questions or inquiries please contact the OMA: or call 416-348-8672 / 1-866-662-8672.

Marie G. Lalonde
Executive Director 

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