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Topics: Collective rights


The right to be known

Tuesday, September 10, 2024

Cost: Free, registration required

Location: Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, Level 1, CMHR

Square tiles of various colours and placed randomly are photographed from above, creating a pixellated effect.


Climate Justice

June 2022 to December 2024

This new exhibit explores the connections between human rights and climate change.

A crowd of youth hold protest signs and stand behind a large banner that reads “La Terre Mère,” or “mother earth” in English.

Strength in Numbers: The Polish Solidarity Movement

January 2020 to August 2024

A woman wearing a dress cups her hand to a megaphone placed at her mouth. She is standing elevated above a crowd of people at a gate, with two flags waving nearby.


What Is Two‐Spirit? Part One: Origins

By Scott de Groot

Discover the history and meaning of Two‐Spirit. The term speaks to community self‐determination, rejects colonial gender norms and celebrates Indigenous sexual and gender diversity.

A poster featuring large artwork depicting two faces in dramatic colours and patterns, with background imagery including hands, standing figures and geometric shapes. A large title at the top reads “The 10th Annual International Two Spirit Gathering” and text at the bottom reads “August 27-31, 1997. Onamia, Minnesota.”

Heartbeat of a People

By Dave McLeod

First Nation, Inuit and Métis music has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability throughout history. Music by the people is still at the heart of who they are, as it has been for millennia.

Close-up on a group of people wearing beaded jackets and vests performing on stage. In the centreer, a man wearing glasses, a hat, and a large, beaded medallion sings into a microphone.

The Amchitka Campaign

By Barbara Stowe

Music played a key role in the founding of Greenpeace. Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and others played a benefit concert to raise money for its momentous first mission.

A boat in the water with mountains and clouds in the background. Its sail is decorated with large peace signs.

An interview with Tegan and Sara

By CMHR Curatorial Team

Tegan and Sara, identical twin sisters hailing from Calgary, Alberta, have been performing together for more than 25 years. The sisters have openly identified as queer and as such, their music has motivated, encouraged and inspired a generation of LGBTQ+ and feminist fans at home and abroad.

Two people with long hair in high ponytails wearing winter coats pose in the corner of a grey-painted brick room.

Treaty 3: Honouring its truths

By Carlie Kane

Treaties were meant to ensure peaceful co‐existence between settlers and Indigenous peoples. But they became instruments of colonial control. Together, we can return to the original goal of mutual respect and care.

Mist rises off a large, calm lake surrounded by an evergreen forest.

Online misogyny: the “manosphere”

By Steve McCullough

Digital misogyny is on the rise. Why do some men and boys get drawn into – and even seek out – extremist influencers and groups?

A white man with short hair sits alone at a brightly lit desk in a dark room, staring at a computer monitor.

The Doctrine of Discovery

By Travis Tomchuk

Learn about this 500‐year‐old colonial idea that still affects Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples.

Two people in braids and ribbon skirts raise fists and hold a large cloth banner reading “RESCIND THE DOCTRINE” on the steps of an enormous cathedral.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

By Karine Duhamel

What is the UNDRIP and why is it important? What does Canada’s commitment to enact UNDRIP mean? How will it impact treaty rights, land, resources and cultural rights in Canada?

Drawing of a diverse group of people, one of whom holds up a blank page meant to symbolize the Declaration.

The murder of Elzéar Goulet and the struggle for Métis rights

By Karine Duhamel

Elzéar was raised in the Métis trapping and trading tradition and was killed for his role in the Red River Resistance. His story reflects the long struggle for Métis rights that includes the founding of Manitoba.

Riders on horseback with arrows and lances drawn ride across a rolling prairie landscape towards a herd of buffalo.

Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket

Large artwork consisting of objects set in cedar frames.

Dick Patrick: An Indigenous veteran’s fight for inclusion

By Steve McCullough and Jason Permanand

A snow-covered country road with mountains in the background.

The Wilcox County integrated prom

By Matthew McRae

In 2013, graduating students at a high school in Georgia, held their school’s first‐ever integrated prom, where Black and white students could attend together.

A smiling woman stands in front of a red prom dress and a black tuxedo mounted on mannequins. Both the dress and suit are on display behind a glass case.

Claiming our rights as a transgender family

By Rowan Jetté Knox

Names and pronouns may change but love stays constant.

A smiling family of six in a living room.

Seven awesome accessibility features at the Museum

By Matthew McRae

A hand touches braille letters on a museum exhibit.

Language rights are human rights

By Rémi Courcelles

Exploring Canada’s official languages framework.

A stop sign and street sign in both English and French are seen in front of trees.

The Winnipeg General Strike

By Travis Tomchuk

A large crowd gathered on a street

The symbol of Pride

By Karine Duhamel

The story of the iconic rainbow Pride flag. Created by Gilbert Baker in 1978, it is now a worldwide symbol of the fight for 2SLGBTQI+ rights.

Two large Pride flags waving proudly in a large crowd.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Carved wooden faces

Black sleeping car porters

By Travis Tomchuk

Black men employed as sleeping car porters in Canada from the late nineteenth century until the mid‐1950s experienced racial discrimination and exploitation on the job.

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.

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.

Carved wooden face

Resource guides

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People

In this guide, you will find links to resources related to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada and the United States.

5 red dresses of different sizes and designs are displayed on mannequins.

Web projects

The Witness Blanket

This monumental work of art honours Survivors of Canada’s residential schools. A new website lets you learn from their experiences and bear witness to their stories.

A person with curly hair, glasses and wearing a black top examines a large artwork consisting of objects set in cedar frames. The image has been broken into interlocking geometric shapes over a pale brown background with a slight wood grain texture.