Agreement between Province and CMHR unique in Canada

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News release details

An agreement signed today between Manitoba Education and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) has created the only official partnership in Canada between a provincial education department and a national museum.

"This unique collaboration creates a rare opportunity for provincial and federal jurisdictions to work together for the advancement of human rights education," Education Minister Nancy Allan said today at an event held inside the Museum, in the Manitoba Teachers' Society classrooms. "It is an important expression of our shared vision to turn this city and province into a national centre of excellence in human rights learning and research."

CMHR president and CEO Stuart Murray said the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a signal to educators in Manitoba and beyond that the Museum has the provincial government's seal of approval as a valuable educational resource.

"The Province is leading the way with its strong commitment to human rights education, working closely with our Museum on programs and materials that reinforce what students are learning in school," Murray said. "We hope this can become a model for other provinces as well."

Goals of the MOU are detailed in the attached backgrounder. The agreement formalizes collaboration that has already been underway for several years. This has included:

  • Secondment of a senior educational consultant from the Province to the Museum in the early development phases. 
  • A lead role by the Province in facilitating Museum consultation with provincial social studies curriculum consultants from across Canada – a rare opportunity for educational collaboration across provincial boundaries. 
  • Sharing expertise on development of CMHR and school‐based human rights programs for students and teachers. 
  • Ensuring direct linkages between Museum education programs and Manitoba school curriculum. 
  • Facilitating communication to Manitoba teachers regarding the progress and development of the Museum and its educational programming.

June Creelman, CMHR Director of Learning and Programming, said the province has been highly supportive of the Museum's vision to offer programs for teachers in response to their need for training and resources on human rights from a reliable source. She also noted that the Museum's bilingual programs and exhibits create new learning opportunities for the Bureau de l'éducation française (BEF), French‐language and French immersion schools and classes.

Minister Allan said Manitoba has developed school curricula that are inclusive of human rights and social justice, linked to teaching and learning about rights and responsibilities. At the high‐school level, human rights education is integrated across many subject areas, which will enable teachers to use CMHR visits as a natural extension of classroom lesson plans.

Opening in 2014 in Winnipeg, the CMHR is the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. It is the first national museum to be established in Canada since 1967 and the first outside the National Capital Region. 


Goals of the MOU between Manitoba Education and the CMHR

  • Collaborate to develop a framework to explicitly highlight and reinforce human right learning in Manitoba curricula, linked to the ongoing research work of the Museum. This may eventually serve as a model for other jurisdictions. 
  • Collaborate to provide teacher professional development and/or joint presentations on human rights education. 
  • Collaboration between Manitoba consultants and Museum researchers to create educational content for schools that includes input from students and teachers. 
  • Continued formal and informal consultation regarding CMHR education programs and links to Manitoba curriculum. 
  • Sharing of research and expertise to support curriculum implementation including collaborative creation of teacher resource materials. 
  • Collaboration with Manitoba schools to develop educational materials that facilitate the application of human rights learning to the day‐to‐day practice of active democratic citizenship (e.g. anti‐bullying, conflict resolution, cross‐cultural dialogue, active democratic citizenship, anti‐racism). 
  • Collaborate to initiate and support ongoing cross‐cultural programs and to facilitate networking among students across school divisions, including Winnipeg schools and rural schools, and First Nations schools in Manitoba. 
  • Explore possibilities of ongoing student exhibit areas in the Museum and high school student internship programs.

Read this blog to learn more about the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike and some of the artifacts to be displayed in the Museum:

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Maureen Fitzhenry