respect this teaching wherever their spirit carries them.” We wanted visitors to connect with the message and the similarities in their own experience; to create a dialogue and not be afraid to ask honest questions of each other. Many visitors have shared they were initially drawn here by other exhibitions, but ended up loving Our Living Languages the most. Some have seen for the first time what the current political and cultural realities are for First Nations beyond the headlines. Many have asked that this remain a permanent exhibition that continues to be updated for educational purposes, both locally and internationally. Many school groups have come specifically to see the exhibition to assist in their curriculum delivery. Our Living Languages has been described as a template for partnership.
Aboriginal Cultural Festival Returns to Royal BC Museum By Paula Amos, Director, Partnerships & Corporate Initiatives, Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC
The Royal BC Museum will host the outdoor event, which will feature a main stage for more than 30 scheduled performances, including those by three-time hoop dance world champion Alex Wells. Performers will gather from around British Columbia to showcase their unique styles. In addition to the main stage cultural performances, the festival will also feature an artisan craft fair, showcasing arts and crafts certified by the Authentic Indigenous Arts Program. The ever-popular culinary options are returning for 2015, with an outdoor dining area where visitors can purchase food including West Coast clam chowder, wild Sockeye salmon and salad and fry-bread.
As this country struggles with how to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and how that has shaped the present reality – what will change in our path towards a mutually respectful shared future? Museums have a large role in creating accessible spaces for awareness, real connections and opportunities to rethink what we know. Culture and language are resilient and evolving and I think this is a journey worth continuing to learn from. Emawheega (Until we meet again) Siemthlut (Michelle Washington) was the Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in BC exhibition Manager for First Peoples’ Cultural Council and now continues work with the Royal BC Museum Learning Department as Cultural Program Coordinator. Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in BC is the winner of the 27th Annual American Alliance of Museums Excellence in in Exhibition Competition. Generously sponsored by
Three-time hoop dance world champion Alex Wells will be performing at the 2015 Aboriginal Cultural Festival at the Royal BC Museum.
he provincial capital will again host the Aboriginal Cultural Festival, a three-day celebration of Aboriginal peoples, arts and culture, beginning on Friday, June 19 and wrapping up on Sunday, June 21 – National Aboriginal Day. The festival is hosted on the traditional territory of Esquimalt and Songhees Nations in Victoria.
Along with hosting the Aboriginal Cultural Festival, the Royal BC Museum is featuring the Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in BC exhibition, which celebrates the resilience and diversity of First Nations languages in the face of change. Visitors are encouraged to learn more about what First Nations communities throughout the province are doing to help their languages survive and flourish. The Aboriginal Cultural Festival was created in partnership between Aboriginal Tourism BC, the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, the Royal BC Museum, Tourism Victoria, the Robert Bateman Centre and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.