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‘It’s a powerful day’: museum’s Indigenous programming to expand

Traditional beading is seen in this photo. A beading workshop if one of many that the public can take part in this winter at the Museum.
Traditional beading is seen in this photo. A beading workshop if one of many that the public can take part in this winter at the Museum. Twitter / Royal Saskatchewan Museum

An investment from the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) will ensure Indigenous programming at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) continues to thrive and expand.

The $10,000 gift will go to the Friends of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s (RSM) Traditional Knowledge Keepers Program to enhance workshops and education.

Theresa Walter, First Nations program specialist at the RSM, says the hands-on learning experiences will be “a continuation or a passing on of that cultural knowledge.”

“It’s really nice to have support to increase our indigenous programming here at RSM,” she said. “It just helps us to continue on our journey of learning.”

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Workshops featured this winter will include storytelling, plant use and hide tanning, and demonstrations of traditional art, such as beading and quillwork.

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Walters said museums have played a crucial role in telling the stories of Canada’s history, but from a First Nations perspective, it hasn’t always been positive.

“It’s been a long story. Perhaps not the greatest story from a First Nations perspective, but that story is starting to change,” Walters said.

“It’s not just museums, or archeologists, anthropologists, paleontologists telling the story of their thoughts on how we lived, it’s now us telling our stories of how we lived long ago and how we continue to live and thrive today in Saskatchewan and Canada.”

Walters added this investment “helps us to continue a narrative or story together.”

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The sponsorship is seen as a fostering of togetherness between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, according to Patrick Maze, STF President.

“We believe programs such as this, reaching a wide range of audiences and demographics, can play an important role in the truth and reconciliation process.”

Moments to watch out for in the program include Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30) Saskatchewan Indigenous Storytelling (January – March) National Indigenous History Month (June) National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), and other events involving morning prayers.

STF says more than 2,500 students will participate in the new program over the next year.

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taylor.braat@globalnews.ca
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