The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is inviting visitors to learn about rights and responsibilities from a First Nations perspective through the unique Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tour, which will be free with admission tomorrow evening on National Aboriginal Day.
An Indigenous guide leads the journey and relays sacred teachings of the Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota nations, using elements of the Museum's architecture to share stories gifted by Elders. The program was co-created through ongoing collaboration with the Elders Circle Seven and architectural historian Dr. Frank Albo, in consultation with the Museum's public programming experts.
Tomorrow's 90-minute free tour is at 7 p.m. in French and at 7:30 p.m. in English. Space is limited, with participation on a first-come, first-served basis. Mikinak-Keya runs regularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays from late May to early October for $30 per person (includes admission) and can also be booked year-round for private tours.
First Nations people are steeped in oral tradition, with an understanding that teachings must be spoken, heard and lived. The Mikinak-Keya journey reflects this tradition and includes:
- a welcome with drumming and singing to help share the creation story;
- a stop in the Indigenous Perspectives gallery, where traditional teachings about the Turtle are shared;
- a visit to the basalt-filled Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation, an interior space of quiet reflection bathed in light that streams through the Museum's massive glass "cloud" and reveals architectural elements connected to Indigenous teachings;
- a teaching inside the observation platform of the Israel Asper Tower of Hope, with panoramic views of Winnipeg and the Prairie beyond;
- encounters with specially created works of art that interpret the stories shared on this journey;
- an experience that engages the senses: the smell of sage and sweetgrass, the sounds of the drum, the feel of basalt and alabaster.
The Museum is situated directly beside the hub of June 21 Aboriginal Day activities at the Forks, one of eight national centres for celebrations, cultural activities and concerts, which will be televised live and Webcast by APTN.
And today, the CMHR became a signatory to Winnipeg's Indigenous Accord during an event at the Oodena Celebration Circle with Mayor Brian Bowman and other stakeholders. The accord outlines a shared commitment to the Journey of Reconciliation in Winnipeg, rooted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action.