Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience

Recipient of the 2022 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

November 14, 2022

McCord Stewart Museum, Montreal, Quebec

The McCord Stewart Museum’s new permanent exhibition, Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience, invites the public to connect with eleven Indigenous nations in Quebec. Visitors take the titular three-part journey, which begins by shedding light on unrecognized forms of Indigenous knowledge, continues by exploring a shared and traumatic history, and concludes by recognizing and celebrating the incredible capacities of Indigenous resilience.

Part of the McCord Stewart’s hundredth anniversary, and an example of the institution’s decolonizing journey, the exhibition features one hundred objects from the museum’s Indigenous Cultures collection, carefully selected by Innu curator Jean St-Onge. In collaboration with la Boîte Rouge Vif, an Indigenous not-for-profit dedicated to the preservation and transmission of cultural heritage, curator Élisabeth Kaine combined these hundred objects with more than eighty inspiring stories into a visually stunning visitor experience. Through engaging testimonies that prioritized Indigenous languages, speakers shared their dreams, experiences, and plans for a better future — a future no longer undermined by assimilation. Additionally, Indigenous designers and illustrators contributed to the development of marketing and visual materials.

Extensive and purposeful programming was developed for the general public, school groups, and post-secondary institutions, as well as for community organizations and businesses, all interested in building their awareness and deepening their understanding of Indigenous experiences. Indigenous Voices of Today hopes to do more than just inform, but also to inspire visitors to learn more — and to do more — as active participants in the process of reconciliation.

Excellence in Museums

The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive! is administered by the Canadian Museums Association.

With the support of Ecclesiastical Insurance

Canada’s History Society and the Canadian Museums Association are able to administer the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums.