Working Towards Truth and Reconciliation

Sep 29, 2022
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Each year, the day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

As museum professionals we are entrusted with the role of helping our communities to connect to our histories. This year, let us continue our efforts to explore the totality of those histories. Let this September 30 be one of reflection, when we hold space for grief and rage and joy and hope, and we consider how to live out our ideals so that our work as museum professionals is ever more nuanced, inclusive, respectful, and complex.

Learn more about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation HERE.
National Residential School Crisis Line offers emotional support and crisis referral services for residential school Survivors and their families. Call the toll-free Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. This service is available 24/7.

Telephone and chat-based support and crisis intervention is available to all Indigenous Peoples in Canada, through the Hope and Wellness Help Line. This service is available in English and French, and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect online HERE.

Other Resources:
Listen, Learn & Act
Toronto Star, Sept. 26, 2022

There’s a path to truth and reconciliation — but it won’t be an easy road to walk
An Op-ed from Janis Monture
Executive Director
Woodland Cultural Centre
OMA Council Member

"The relationship between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples need not be forever bound by the painful past." Read more HERE.
Now Available
Moved to Action:
Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museums

Canadian Museums Association (CMA)

September 27, 2022 - The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) today released a groundbreaking report calling for support for Indigenous-led organizations, initiatives, and self-determination at every level of museum operations and within all museum positions across the country.

The report, titled Moved to Action: Activating UNDRIP in Museums, is aimed at advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s “Call to Action #67” that asks the federal government to provide funding to the CMA to review, in partnership with Indigenous peoples, Canadian museum policies and practices and make recommendations for the sector to become more compliant with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The report, created over five years thanks to funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, was informed by guidance and advice from CMA’s Reconciliation Council, a cohesive and influential body of experts in Indigenous culture and museum practices.

It makes 10 recommendations and will provide a set of learning tools for the inclusion and representation of Indigenous communities within museums and cultural centres.

Among the recommendations are calls for more financial support for Indigenous cultural centres and Indigenous-led national heritage organizations, particularly to support repatriations; a revised National Museum Policy and Museums Assistance Program that support UNDRIP in their structure and delivery and a national UNDRIP professional development strategy for museum professionals to assist museums in implementing UNDRIP at each level of their operations.

Read media release HERE.
Read the Moved to Action: Activating UNDRIP in Museums Report HERE.

The report collected input and information from the Ontario Museum Association Indigenous Collections Symposium, 2021. Read more about this initiative HERE.

Artwork by Tiare Jung
Media Coverage
Learn and Reflect - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Government of Ontario

Take some time to learn about the stories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and the ongoing legacy of Indian Residential School in Ontario:

Read more 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. Here are a few highlights from the Evaluation Insights and Next Steps Report (pg. 39):
  • 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

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.

OMA Resources for Indigenous Culture and Reconciliation:

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.

Highlight: OMA Annual Conference 2022
Honouring Our Roots: The City of Hamilton’s Indigenous Landmarks and Monuments Review

Speakers: Shelly Hill, Manager of Indigenous Relations with City of Hamilton, John Summers, Manager of Heritage Resource Management with City of Hamilton, Angela DeMontigny, Indigenous Luxury Designer, Heather George, Curator with Woodland Cultural Centre, and Keith Jamieson, First Nations researcher, writer, educator and curator

In 2019, the City of Hamilton began the process of reviewing their pre-existing landmarks, spaces, monuments, and markers, in order to address the perpetuation of settler colonialism, systemic racism, and genocide and identify opportunities to better represent the histories and contributions of Indigenous peoples in the city. The project’s Working Group and Circle of Experts come together in a panel to discuss their work and its impact and to consider how museums can reflect the histories, realities, and significance of Indigenous communities in their respective regions, as one of many steps in the process of decolonization.

Read more about Conference HERE.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Events in Ontario
Join OMA members and supporters as they host community events for this year's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
September 29:

TREATY: A Reconciliation Revelry Concert
Niagara Parks
In Person

Gidinawendimin – We Are All Related 2022
City of Mississauga
In Person and Online

Film Screenings
Huron County Museum
In Person

September 30: 

Conversations in Pipigwan Flute with Rene Meshake
Guelph Civic Museum
In Person

Indigenous Identity and Connections to Place
Niagara Falls Museums

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Art Gallery of Algoma
In Person

Moccasin Identifier Project
Lincoln Museum & Cultural Centre
In Person

Weekend for Truth and Reconciliation
Indigenous Tourism Ontario
Sault Ste. Marie
In Person

Truth and Reconciliation Day Reception
Hutchison House Museum
In Person

The TRUTH Exhibition
Toronto History Museums
In Person
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) launches new Witness Blanket Website

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, in partnership with TELUS is pleased to launch a new website for the Witness Blanket, a monument that recognizes the atrocities of Canada's Indian residential school system. Assembled by Indigenous artist Carey Newman/Hayalthkin’geme, the Witness Blanket is a large-scale work of art inspired by a woven blanket.

It contains hundreds of items reclaimed from residential schools, churches, government buildings and traditional and cultural structures from across Canada. It’s up to each of us to learn about the injustices of Canada's residential schools and their colonial legacy while taking action to build a future of hope and reconciliation.

To explore stories and objects from the Blanket that bear witness to the truth of residential schools, visit or click HERE.
Media Coverage
Need to Know

Upcoming Funding Opportunities -
Museums Assistance Program (MAP)

Application deadline: November 1 at 5p.m. ET

The MAP supports heritage institutions and workers in the preservation and presentation of heritage collections. It also promotes professional knowledge, skills and practices related to key museum functions. The MAP provides funding to Canadian museums and related institutions through several components, and each has its own eligibility criteria:

Access to Heritage - Deadline: November 1, 2022

  • provides funding to heritage organizations for travelling exhibitions in Canada, and to promote access to heritage across different geographic regions.

Indigenous Heritage - Deadline: November 1, 2022

  • provides funding for projects related to the preservation, management, and presentation of Indigenous cultural heritage in Canada.

Collections Management- Deadline: November 1, 2022

  • provides funding for projects to improve knowledge, skills and practices related to key museum functions.

Exhibition Circulation Fund - Ongoing

  • assists museums with the costs related to the hosting of travelling exhibitions originating from another museum or from a federal heritage institution and the borrowing of artefacts from any of the National museums of Canada.

Learn about how to apply using the Canadian Heritage Funding Portal HERE.

Let’s get together! As we celebrate the OMA’s 50th Anniversary, the OMA and the Conference Program Committee are thrilled to share a 2022 OMA Annual Conference that is exciting and accessible! Discover the fascinating speakerssessions and exhibitors, and stay tuned for more updates!
See the full program
Engaging with Mental Health and Wellness Respectfully

SpeakersRebecca Hicks, Curatorial Assistant, Whitehern Historic House & Garden, City of Hamilton, Michelle Bartlett, Head of Content and Experience, McDougall Cottage Historic Site

Engaging with Mental Health and Wellness Respectfully is a panel discussion on how museums are responding to the rising mental health crises around them, with a focus on partnerships, programming and respectful storytelling. Where do museum professionals start when they may not have the education, training, experience or comfort to engage with these challenging stories?

Read more HERE.

Disability Inclusion in Cultural Institiutions During the Pandemic 

SpeakersNatalie Hart, Education and Interpretation Program Officer, City of Ottawa Museums, Kate Zankowicz, Manager of Youth, Family and Community Engagement, The Huntington, Jack Hawk, Outreach Coordinator, Tangled Art + Disability, Gillian King, Artist, Art Therapist (Thesis Pending), Registered, Ottawa Art Gallery

During the pandemic, some cultural institutions shifted their experiences to be more accessible and leaned on the expertise of disabled communities to do so. Panelists from Canada and abroad will provide examples and practical advice on how cultural institutions can bring the voices of disabled people into their spaces in ways that respect and align with disability communities to move beyond mere accessibility compliance coming out of the pandemic.

Read more HERE.

Post-Conference Study Tours

See you in Hamilton! We are thrilled to share the 2022 OMA Study Tours on Tuesday November 8, proceeding the Annual Conference. Explore the local area’s culture and heritage with two engaging tours: Dundas Museum and Archives and Hamilton Civic Museums.

The Dundas Experience
Dundas Museum and Archives (Dundas, ON)
9:30am - 5:00pm

It’s the Little Things: Small Steps Towards Continuous Improvement at the Hamilton Civic Museums
Hamilton, ON
9:30pm - 5:00pm

Learn about the itineraries and register HERE.

Study Tours will depart from the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel (116 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4V3) and return to the same location. All transportation, admission to each site and lunch is included in the registration fee.

Learn about the Registration Terms, Conditions & Cancellation Policy HERE.

If you have any particular accessibility requirements, and did not note these on your registration form, please reach out to our Professional Development Assistant, Megan Brohm, at or the OMA office by phone at 416-348-8672 or 1-866-662-8672 by or before October 11, 2022. If you would like to be responded to by a particular method, such as email or telephone, please specify your preference.
We look forward to gathering with you at OMA Annual Conference!
  • Monday, November 7, 2022 In-person (Hamilton) – select sessions will be live-streamed
  • Tuesday, November 8, 2022 (Hamilton) Study Tours
  • Monday, November 21, 2022 Online – Full day of interactive online sessions
Register Today!
Learn about Fully Subsidized Registrations HERE.

Book Your Accommodation for the In-person Conference HERE.
In case of unavailability on hotel rooms at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel on November 7, a number of rooms have been set aside for OMA delegates at Staybridge Suites Hamilton - Downtown (5 minute walk from the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel). Book your accommodation HERE.

Learn about the Health & Wellbeing Policies and Practices HERE.
Learn about the Registration Terms, Conditions & Refund Policy HERE.

Contact Us:
Tel: 416-348-8672
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-866-662-8672
Partners & Exhibitors
* as of September 28
In the Media
Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon collaborates with AGO's virtual school program
Culture Days returns to Oakville
Dibaajimowin | Stories of this Land opens at Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum
Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre Celebrates Region’s Farming Roots
Fans flock to Smiths Falls railway museum to board Hogwarts Express
Thunder Bay Museum offers pay-what-you-can admission for Culture Days celebrations, until Oct. 16
What's On
Food, Guns and Clan Politics: UNOSOM and UNITAF in Somalia (1992-1995)
The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum
2022 Cold War Speaker Series: The LGBT Purge
Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum
Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum
Visit Oakville's First Post Office
Oakville Museum
Contribute to Member News!
ONmuseums is published every Thursday morning and we are happy to feature member news and events:
  • We collect content from the Discover Ontario Museums website "What's On" section. OMA Members simply have to update their museum listing to be featured in ONmuseums.
  • Not sure of how to update your listing? Click here to learn how to maximize your museum listing page
Support Ontario’s Museums: Donate Now!

As museums across Ontario face the challenges of reopening safely and renewing relationships with your communities, the OMA is here for you. Your support, participation, and membership make our work possible.

If you are already an OMA member, thank you! Please renew your membership when you receive an email reminder. If you are not yet a member, please consider an individual, institutional, or commercial membership for yourself, your colleagues, or your institution. You can find information about member categories and benefits on our website.

You can make a donation to the OMA on our website or through Canada Helps. Every contribution adds to the collective strength of our sector. Thank you for your support!

Donate Now
We're Here to Help!
For all questions or inquiries please contact the OMA: or call 416-348-8672 / 1-866-662-8672.
As an organization of provincial scope, the Ontario Museum Association recognizes that its members and community live and work on the lands and territories of Indigenous peoples. Toronto, where the OMA offices are located, is the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee and the Huron Wendat. We wish to express our gratitude for the resources we are using and pay respect to the rich and ongoing Indigenous history of what is now Ontario and Canada.
Our Mission
The Ontario Museum Association strengthens capacity among institutions and individuals active in Ontario’s museum sector, facilitates excellence and best practices, and improves the communication and collaboration of its membership. The Association advocates for the important role of Ontario’s museums to society, working with all stakeholders, related sectors and industries, and other professional organizations.
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