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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

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People stand in front of a row of coffins.

Five women all Canadians should know

By Matthew McRae

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 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

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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

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 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.

The power of individual stories

By Javier Torres

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A dark-haired man speaks to a group of four onlookers, using his arms to illustrate a point. He is facing the group, which can only be seen from behind. The man is wearing a black shirt with a Museum logo and a lanyard with a nametag. Behind him is a large exhibit with items behind glass and a large map.

Peace, friendship and respect

By Karine Duhamel

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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

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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

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A group of boys wearing pyjamas kneels on single beds with heads bowed and hands clasped as if in prayer. A woman stands in the room with her hands clasped in a similar manner.

The story of slavery in Canadian history

By Matthew McRae

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

The story of Nelson Mandela

By Matthew McRae

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Nelson Mandela, an older black man with graying hair, forms a raised fist with his right hand and holds it above his head. With his left, he is holding hands with Winnie Mandela, a black woman with dark hair. She is smiling and has formed a raised fist with her left hand, mirroring Nelson Mandela’s raised fist. A large crowd is gathered behind them.

Bringing the ancestors home

By Matthew McRae

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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

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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?

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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One woman's resistance

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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

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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

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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.

Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By Karine Duhamel

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A drawn image of a group of people dressed in various garments, both traditional and non-traditional. The person in front is holding up a blank page, meant to symbolize the Declaration.

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

By Matthew McRae

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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, Researcher-Curator, Indigenous Content

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

The Sharpeville Massacre

By Matthew McRae

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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.

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 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

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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

Tags for Canadian civil rights trailblazers

 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.

The power of individual stories

By Javier Torres

My name is Javier Torres. In 2015, I moved to Winnipeg and became a Program Interpreter at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Many of my friends in Quebec City wanted to know: Why did you choose to work at a museum for human rights in Winnipeg?

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A dark-haired man speaks to a group of four onlookers, using his arms to illustrate a point. He is facing the group, which can only be seen from behind. The man is wearing a black shirt with a Museum logo and a lanyard with a nametag. Behind him is a large exhibit with items behind glass and a large map.

Peace, friendship and respect

By Karine Duhamel

Tags for Peace, friendship and respect

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

Tags for 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.

Childhood denied

A story about Indian residential schools and their legacy

Tags for Childhood denied

A group of boys wearing pyjamas kneels on single beds with heads bowed and hands clasped as if in prayer. A woman stands in the room with her hands clasped in a similar manner.

The story of slavery in Canadian history

By Matthew McRae

Tags for The story of slavery in Canadian history

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

The story of Nelson Mandela

By Matthew McRae

Tags for The story of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, an older black man with graying hair, forms a raised fist with his right hand and holds it above his head. With his left, he is holding hands with Winnie Mandela, a black woman with dark hair. She is smiling and has formed a raised fist with her left hand, mirroring Nelson Mandela’s raised fist. A large crowd is gathered behind them.

Bringing the ancestors home

By Matthew McRae

Tags for Bringing the ancestors home

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

Tags for Making Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

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

Find out more about the world‐famous declaration that turns 70 in 2018.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Tags for Planting a seed: Creating a community garden at the Museum

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.

Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By Karine Duhamel

On September 13, 2017, people around the world will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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A drawn image of a group of people dressed in various garments, both traditional and non-traditional. The person in front is holding up a blank page, meant to symbolize the Declaration.

“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.

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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, Researcher-Curator, Indigenous Content

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

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

What does being Canadian mean to you?

What do you value about being Canadian? How has Canada shaped you? Watch stories about what Canada means to the people who live here, or record a video to share your own!

Four mobile phones with screenshots of people sharing their stories.