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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 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

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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.

Lighting the flame

By Rhea Yates

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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

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Four freedoms: The power of objects

By Jeremy Maron

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A book on display. The cover reads: The Pocket Poets Series. Howl and Other Poems. Allen Ginsberg. Introduction by William Carlos Williams. Number Four.

The Chinese head tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act

By Matthew McRae

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Four men sitting on a couch looking at the Camera.

Japanese Canadian internment and the struggle for redress

By Matthew McRae

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A black and white image of a woman and two children standing behind a pile of luggage and blankets and looking at the camera.

The story of the Komagata Maru

By Matthew McRae

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A young woman sits on a ledge in a large circular hall. She is smiling at the camera and wearing jeans, a dark blouse and a red jacket

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

By Armando Perla

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A close up of the Canadian Charte of Rights and Freedoms

The story of Africville

By Matthew McRae

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Two children looking at the camera and smiling

Approaching the human rights stories of Indigenous peoples

By Karine Duhamel

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A closeup of a carved wooden box, showing the carved face of a person against a white background.

The nuts and bolts of reconciliation

By Karine Duhamel

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A closeup of a carved wooden box, showing a painted image of a red hand over a carved mouth.

Why reconciliation? Why now?

By Karine Duhamel

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Visages sculptés en bois.

A Yiddish poem from the Holocaust

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A yellowed paper with a handwritten text in Yiddish. The piece of paper is flat but was folded previously as old fold marks are obvious.

Black sleeping car porters

By Travis Tomchuk

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A black and white photo of four men in train porter uniforms. All of the men are smiling, and the two men in the middle appear to be shaking hands.

A Universal commitment

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Reconciliation: A movement of hope or a movement of guilt?

By Karine Duhamel

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Visages sculptés en bois.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By Karine Duhamel

The main themes of UNDRIP are the rights to self‐determination, the right to be recognized as distinct peoples, the rights to free, prior, and informed consent, and the right to be free from discrimination.

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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

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.

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.

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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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Four freedoms: The power of objects

By Jeremy Maron

In his January 1941 State of the Union address, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt articulated four fundamental freedoms that everyone in the world ought to be able to enjoy – freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom from fear and freedom from want.

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A book on display. The cover reads: The Pocket Poets Series. Howl and Other Poems. Allen Ginsberg. Introduction by William Carlos Williams. Number Four.

The Chinese head tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act

By Matthew McRae

When he was a little boy growing up in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Yu didn’t understand why his grandfather frequently took him on long walks to visit Chinatown.

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Four men sitting on a couch looking at the Camera.

Japanese Canadian internment and the struggle for redress

By Matthew McRae

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Lena Hayakawa lived what she describes as a very idyllic life.

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A black and white image of a woman and two children standing behind a pile of luggage and blankets and looking at the camera.

The story of the Komagata Maru

By Matthew McRae

When Nimrat Randhawa and her family immigrated to Canada in the summer of 2003, they arrived completely in the dark – literally.

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A young woman sits on a ledge in a large circular hall. She is smiling at the camera and wearing jeans, a dark blouse and a red jacket

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

By Armando Perla

The cornerstone of human rights protection in Canada is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter forms part of Canada’s Constitution and came into being on April 17, 1982.

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A close up of the Canadian Charte of Rights and Freedoms

The story of Africville

By Matthew McRae

If you’ve never heard of Africville, you’re not alone; the tragic story of this small Black community in Nova Scotia is not as well known as it should be.

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Two children looking at the camera and smiling

Approaching the human rights stories of Indigenous peoples

By Karine Duhamel

This article focuses on the creation and development of exhibition content exploring the human rights stories of Indigenous people in this country. To tell these stories, the Museum engaged with communities and individuals in a process of truth‐telling.

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A closeup of a carved wooden box, showing the carved face of a person against a white background.

The nuts and bolts of reconciliation

By Karine Duhamel

As a child, I often visited museums. I was lucky to be able to travel with my family, and to visit interpretive spaces across the country.

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A closeup of a carved wooden box, showing a painted image of a red hand over a carved mouth.

Why reconciliation? Why now?

By Karine Duhamel

Since the publication of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report in 2015, more and more Canadians seem focused on the idea of reconciliation.

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Visages sculptés en bois.

A Yiddish poem from the Holocaust

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A yellowed paper with a handwritten text in Yiddish. The piece of paper is flat but was folded previously as old fold marks are obvious.

Black sleeping car porters

By Travis Tomchuk

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A black and white photo of four men in train porter uniforms. All of the men are smiling, and the two men in the middle appear to be shaking hands.

A Universal commitment

Discover the people of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Reconciliation: A movement of hope or a movement of guilt?

By Karine Duhamel

In Why reconciliation? Why now? I talked about the idea of reconciliation as an invitation to a new and shared future and as a pathway towards a good life, both for Indigenous people and for other Canadians.

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Visages sculptés en bois.