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Human rights stories are all around us. We explore contemporary and historic human rights stories, from Canada and around the world.

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The Sharpeville Massacre

By Matthew McRae

People stand in front of a row of coffins. Partially obscured.

Five women all Canadians should know

By Matthew McRae

 Six red dresses are suspended in air on hangers in front of a backdrop. The backdrop features an image of a birch wood forest with more red dresses hanging in it. Partially obscured.

Travis Price’s act of kindness

By Julia Peristerakis

Six teenagers and a middle-aged woman stand with their arms around each other and are smiling for the camera. They are all wearing pink shirts. Partially obscured.

Canadian civil rights trailblazers

By Jason Permanand

 A black and white photo of a movie theatre audience. The picture is taken from the front of the theatre looking towards the back, so the faces of the audience can be seen. Potted palm trees line the walls on each side. Partially obscured.

Peace, friendship and respect

By Karine Duhamel

An image being projected onto a curved wall that is about nine feet tall. It is made up of many small squares and has the appearance of Indigenous bead work or a mosaic. The image is mainly made up of white squares, but it also features two thick blue horizontal lines that run parallel to each other. Partially obscured.

Fighting for a vision of a free and democratic Russia

Des roses rouges et blanches fanées dans un vase. En arrière-plan, on voit la cathédrale Saint-Basile sur la place Rouge, à Moscou, avec ses multiples coupoles et dômes, qui rappellent un feu de camp montant vers le ciel. Partially obscured.

The story of Black slavery in Canadian history

By Steve McCullough and Matthew McRae

Rusted iron manacles hang on hooks on a plain white wall. Partially obscured.

The story of Nelson Mandela

By Matthew McRae

Un homme et une femme levant le poing en signe de victoire, suivis d’une grande foule. Partially obscured.

Bringing the potlatch home

By Matthew McRae

A black and white image of an elderly woman with white hair holding a mask that is shaped and painted to represent a bird’s head. It features a long beak with an open mouth and feathers attached to the top of the head. The woman is looking directly at the mask she is holding. Partially obscured.

Making Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

By Matthew McRae

A man and a woman sit in chairs facing each other. There is a microphone on a stand positioned between them. There are also large lights on both sides of the woman’s chair, which are pointed towards the man. Partially obscured.

What would you risk to share evidence of injustice?

" " Partially obscured.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A person woman-presenting holds a large piece of paper covered with text and a large title reading "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Partially obscured.

One woman’s resistance

A head-and-shoulder portrait of Viola Desmond framed by a vertical purple rectangle. Viola is wearing a white top. Partially obscured.

Powered by love: Grandmothers fighting HIV/AIDS

By Matthew McRae

A head-and-shoulders portrait of Gogo Gladys Tyophol. She is wearing glasses and a blue patterned kerchief wrapped around her head. Her shirt says GAPA and a red AIDS ribbon is attached to her sweater. Partially obscured.

Planting a seed: Creating a community garden at the Museum

By Matthew McRae

Seven men and women work in a garden on a sunny day. The garden is circular and has very few plants in it. Around the garden are tall grass, trees, a walking path and a sidewalk. In the background, part of the Museum’s stone structure can be seen. Partially obscured.

“A cauldron of hell”: The story of Canada’s Hong Kong veterans

By Matthew McRae

Three older men in Canadian Legion uniforms sit beside each other. They are all wearing Remembrance Day poppies on their uniforms. Partially obscured.

Truth and reconciliation: What’s next?

By Karine Duhamel

A closeup of a carved wooden box, showing the carved face of a person with a painted red hand over their mouth. Partially obscured.

Lighting the flame

By Rhea Yates

A man carrying a torch stands on a ladder to light a flame within a copper cauldron. Partially obscured.

Exploring women’s rights and gender equality

By Chloe Rew

" " Partially obscured.

The Sharpeville Massacre

By Matthew McRae

Discover how the South African government’s murderous response to peaceful protest inspired local and international action against apartheid.

People stand in front of a row of coffins.

Five women all Canadians should know

By Matthew McRae

The year 2016 marks a century since women in Canada first got the right to vote and so it seems like a fine time to celebrate the achievements of Canadian women.

 Six red dresses are suspended in air on hangers in front of a backdrop. The backdrop features an image of a birch wood forest with more red dresses hanging in it.

Travis Price’s act of kindness

By Julia Peristerakis

Six teenagers and a middle-aged woman stand with their arms around each other and are smiling for the camera. They are all wearing pink shirts.

Canadian civil rights trailblazers

By Jason Permanand

For her courage and tenacity, we remember Viola Desmond as a Canadian civil rights pioneer. But did you know she was not the first Black Canadian who fought against segregated theatres?

 A black and white photo of a movie theatre audience. The picture is taken from the front of the theatre looking towards the back, so the faces of the audience can be seen. Potted palm trees line the walls on each side.

Peace, friendship and respect

By Karine Duhamel

An image being projected onto a curved wall that is about nine feet tall. It is made up of many small squares and has the appearance of Indigenous bead work or a mosaic. The image is mainly made up of white squares, but it also features two thick blue horizontal lines that run parallel to each other.

Fighting for a vision of a free and democratic Russia

Explore the motivation, inspiration and hope that sustain Kara-Murza’s courageous fight for human rights and democracy in Russia.

Des roses rouges et blanches fanées dans un vase. En arrière-plan, on voit la cathédrale Saint-Basile sur la place Rouge, à Moscou, avec ses multiples coupoles et dômes, qui rappellent un feu de camp montant vers le ciel.

Childhood denied

A story about Indian residential schools and their legacy

A group of boys in pyjamas kneel on single beds, heads bowed and hands clasped as if in prayer. A woman stands in the room, her hands clasped in the same way.

The story of Black slavery in Canadian history

By Steve McCullough and Matthew McRae

Canada celebrates being a destination for Americans who escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad. But slavery was also part of Canada’s history for more than 200 years.

Rusted iron manacles hang on hooks on a plain white wall.

The story of Nelson Mandela

By Matthew McRae

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing South Africa’s apartheid system. He refused to give up his efforts to achieve equality for all people.

Un homme et une femme levant le poing en signe de victoire, suivis d’une grande foule.

Bringing the potlatch home

By Matthew McRae

A black and white image of an elderly woman with white hair holding a mask that is shaped and painted to represent a bird’s head. It features a long beak with an open mouth and feathers attached to the top of the head. The woman is looking directly at the mask she is holding.

Making Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

By Matthew McRae

A man and a woman sit in chairs facing each other. There is a microphone on a stand positioned between them. There are also large lights on both sides of the woman’s chair, which are pointed towards the man.

What would you risk to share evidence of injustice?

What does it mean to stand up for human rights? Read the story of a medic who risked his own safety to document the evidence of atrocity.

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This world‐famous declaration is celebrated each year on International Human Rights Day.

A person woman-presenting holds a large piece of paper covered with text and a large title reading "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

One woman’s resistance

Viola Desmond helped inspire Canada’s civil rights movement by refusing to give up her seat in a movie theatre. Now, she is on the $10 bill.

A head-and-shoulder portrait of Viola Desmond framed by a vertical purple rectangle. Viola is wearing a white top.

Powered by love: Grandmothers fighting HIV/AIDS

By Matthew McRae

It took Gogo Gladys Tyophol many years to come to terms with the death of her only son.

A head-and-shoulders portrait of Gogo Gladys Tyophol. She is wearing glasses and a blue patterned kerchief wrapped around her head. Her shirt says GAPA and a red AIDS ribbon is attached to her sweater.

Planting a seed: Creating a community garden at the Museum

By Matthew McRae

My partner and I have a small garden just outside the front door of our home. I will admit that it’s not much to look at.

Seven men and women work in a garden on a sunny day. The garden is circular and has very few plants in it. Around the garden are tall grass, trees, a walking path and a sidewalk. In the background, part of the Museum’s stone structure can be seen.

“A cauldron of hell”: The story of Canada’s Hong Kong veterans

By Matthew McRae

On December 8, 1941, the Japanese army launched an attack on the then‐British colony of Hong Kong, located in Southern China.

Three older men in Canadian Legion uniforms sit beside each other. They are all wearing Remembrance Day poppies on their uniforms.

Truth and reconciliation: What’s next?

By Karine Duhamel

This article series has focused on the way we present Indigenous content within the Museum and how we are approaching reconciliation.

A closeup of a carved wooden box, showing the carved face of a person with a painted red hand over their mouth.

Lighting the flame

By Rhea Yates

Fifty years ago, 10 young Indigenous athletes ran an 800‐kilometre relay from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, carrying the torch that would open the 1967 Pan American Games.

A man carrying a torch stands on a ladder to light a flame within a copper cauldron.

Exploring women’s rights and gender equality

By Chloe Rew

If I were alive in Canada before 1929, I would not have been considered a person. “Persons” under the British North America Act referred only to men.

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